Volume 2 : 1975 – 1979


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It is good news that the Council for British Archaeology has finally come out with a statement -unanimously passed by the Council sitting in general meeting on January 12 – condemning the growing practice of treasure hunting and the use of metal detectors. The statement says:

In the view of the Council for British Archaeology, treasure hunting constitutes a major threat to the country’s archaeological heritage, and is thus contrary to the national interest.

The concept of treasure hunting is totally at variance with the – objectives and practices of archaeology in studying and safe-guarding our tangible past for the public good of present and future generations.

The Council recognises that many users of metal detectors are motivated by a genuine interest in the past and its remains and that they would not knowingly damage those remains. Such people are we1come to join the active membership of British archaeology but they must accept the methods and disciplines of archaeology.

CBA will publicise this view as widely as it can. No doubt its next step will be to meet other interested bodies – for instance the Museums Association and Rescue – to discuss further concerted action.

This kind of authoritative lead has long been highly desirable and greatly desired both by individual archaeologists and by county and local societies. For years archaeologists have known that treasure hunting was wrong because it destroyed valuable evidence, but they have been uncertain about the best way to combat it. Some people believed that treasure hunting should not be condoned in any way; others felt that, as it appeared to have come to stay and there appeared no legal redress for it, we must try to guide its practitioners into the right paths. With no lead at the top it was difficult to know whether to follow the advice of hawks or doves. CBA has now come down from the fence and openly declared itself a hawk. We believe that archaeologists should close ranks behind the Council and present a united front, by refusing to condone treasure hunting – and by taking all other possible measures, both at national and local level, to curtail or prevent it.

By Daphne Lorimer.

Weather, to a large extent controlled the progress of excavations at West Heath in 1978. A poor spring and early summer delayed the completion of trenches which had been left unfinished from 1977. It was gratifying, however, to find that protective backfilling had proved highly effective and the trenches had survived last winter undamaged. Seven new trenches, specifically opened for the training dig, will be completed in 1979. Meantime they have been protected as last year’s were.
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From August onwards fine conditions enabled digging to continue until the beginning of December, the area opened being the richest part of the site to date. The recording of the number of struck flakes, and tools is not yet complete, but will be in the order of 10,000-11,000 – more than double the number retrieved in the first year of excavation.

There was a definite increase in the number of geometric microliths, and the first axe-sharpening flake and subsequently the first core axe were recovered from the site. In addition, burnt stones and charcoal were retrieved and post holes excavated and cast. A number of postholes contained significant quantities of charcoal.

The conservation of the hearth during the winter proved very satisfactory and there was little shrinkage. Some shifting, however, did take place when the hearth was turned onto its base; prior battening of this surface would have been advisable. Samples were taken for the magnetic survey and for TL dating and Cl4 dating. The results have not yet been received for either method.

Then conventional excavation of the hearth was undertaken and all the spoil was passed first through the sieve and then through a soil flotation unit kindly lent by the Extra-mural Department of London University. A large sample of charcoal was obtained and a quantity of small carbonised globules discovered (average diameter 1-2 mm.) which are the object at the moment of considerable curiosity, speculation and research.

A second successful training dig was held last, June and over the season 101 HADAS members took part in the dig. Local interest appeared undiminished, both in the press and from passers by. A number of school parties visited the site and the BBC Schools Department recorded a programme at West Heath with the Director, Desmond Collins. An exhibition of West Heath material was mounted at Swiss Cottage Library during May, and talks on the dig, have been given to other local societies, including the London Natural History Society.

It is hoped that an interim report on the first three years of the West Heath excavation will be published towards the end of 1979. Meantime a considerable amount of help is needed in treating and counting the finds. Processing sessions take place every Wednesday at Avenue House, East End Road, F1nchley, from lO am-5 pm (please ring Daphne Lorimer if you would like to come to these)” There will also be processing weekends on Feb 3/4 and March 10/11, at the Teahouse, Northway, NWll, from 10 am-5 pm each day. All members will be welcome at these and, as help is urgently needed on various projects for the report, we hope to see as many people as possible at the first one on Feb. 3.

Another important date for your diary is Sat. March 3, 19791 l0 am- 12 noon, Henry Burden Hall, Egerton Gardens, NW4: the HADAS Minimart. Have you done your spring cleaning yet? Even if you haven’t, please remember the Minimart, our main fund-raising effort of the year. All objects in good condition will be welcome, and contributions can be-brought to the February lecture or the February Teahouse processing weekend. Collection can be arranged if required – please ring Christine Arnott or Dorothy Newbury.

We propose to have a notice board at the Minimart on which people can display details of large goods which they have for sale or second-hand goods which they would like to buy (we already know, for instance, of a hopeful grandmother who is in the market for pushing, riding and rocking toys). If you have anything you want to advertise in that way, either as a buyer or a seller: please let Christine Arnott know.
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…will be on Tuesday, Feb. 6 at Central Library, The Burroughs, NW4. Coffee 8 pm, lecture 8.3O.

Several members will know our lecturer, Dr. Barbara Bender, PhD, through having taken part in her archaeological trips to Brittany. Though she trained in archaeology, Dr. Bender is at present a lecturer in the Anthropology Department of University College, London. Her PhD thesis was on the Neolithic in Normandy; she has written a book on Farming in Prehistory.

The lecture programme for the rest of the season is:

Tues. Mar. 6 Archaeology of the second Industrial Revolution – Kenneth Hudson MA

Tues. Apr. 3 The Etruscan& Geoffrey Toms M.
TRIP TO NORTH WALES, Sept. 19-23, 1979

We apologise for omitting from the January Newsletter the promised application form and further details of this trip. Christmas caught up with some of us. An application form is now enclose. Please complete it if you to join the trip and send it as soon as possible to Dorothy Newbury.

A report by HELEN GORDON on the first lecture of 1979.

Arctic weather on January 2 made a mockery of any need to exclude non~members from this HADAS lecture. Nonetheless, A good audience braved the snow to hear Tony Rook’s amusing account of the architectural development of Roman baths, which here must be not only abbreviated, but bowdlerised.

Early Roman baths were heated by braziers, the building being kept small, with little window, to conserve the heat. The introduction of under floor heating of the hypocaust led to the problem of chimneys. Early hypocausts vented into the room, like pottery ovens, but by the last c. BC narrow chimneys were set into the walls (as at Herculaneum). Later, special tiles, ‘tegulae mammatae’ were introduced; these had spacers on the back such that when nailed to the wall smoke could pass between tile and wall. Pompeii baths (79 AD!) show this cavity connected with the hypocaust and it must have acted as a flue.

However, while nails could readily be driven into walls of tufa, hard stone masonry presented a problem which was solved by the introduction of tubuli, or box tiles – a great improvement in heat efficiency besides being easier to fix. The resultant large radiating surface permitted such all increase in size of building that the central room of the public baths became an immense sunbathing lounge with vast unglazed windows facing south west to catch the afternoon sun.

The invention of concrete at this time enabled the architecture of these Vast new baths to develop in a revolutionary way, exploiting the potential of vaulting.

Tony Rook’s particular concern is the little bath at Lockleys, on which he spent 12 years excavating with the Welwyn Archaeological Society only to have it overrun by the Al motorway. But as a result of his campaign for its preservation, it is now enclosed in a steel vault under the motorway (open to the public on Sunday afternoons).
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Here are details of a mixed bag of courses and conferences which will take place later this spring:

On Sat. March 31, 11 am-5.30 pm, at the Museum of London, the 16th Annual Conference of London Archaeologists. The morning will be on excavations in the whole London area, with the afternoon devoting itself particularly to aspects of the Medieval City of London. Tickets (LAMAS members £1, non-members £2) may be obtained from Alison Bristow, LAMAS, c/o Everett & Son, 13 Christopher St, EC2. You are advised to apply early as this event often se1ls out.

On Thursdays, starting April 19, a course of 10 meetings under the title of Bible Lands and the Origins of Civilisation, at Burnt Oak Library, Orange Hill Road, from 10 am-12 noon. How well does the evidence of archaeology fit the Bible narrative? The course hopes to provide the answer. The lecturer is Roberta Harris and the course costs £3.70.

At the Museum of London, Apr. 20-22, a weekend conference on Waterfront Archaeology in North European Towns, sponsored by CBA, Museum of London and Nautical Archaeology Trust. This will be an international conference with many European speakers; the London and Kings Lynn waterfronts both feature on the programme. In addition to dealing with specific ports and waterfronts (like the Viking port on the River Liffey in Dublin) there will be more general papers on subjects like boats and barges and the place of dendrochronology in waterfront studies. For further details, send an sae to Mrs. J Coleman, CBA, 112 Kennington Rd, SE1l 6RE.

With this article Borough Archivist and HADAS member JOANNA CORDEN completes her survey of the archive sources available to local historians of the London Borough of Barnet.

IV – External Sources, 4: Hertfordshire County Record Office, Pt. B

Maps are an important source of historical and archaeological information, whatever may have been the purpose for which they were originally created.

The most commonly known series is that of the Ordnance Survey: the Herts Record Office has extensive holdings of these from first editions of 1 in. and 6 in. maps onwards, including most of the large scale plans. They also have photocopies of the original surveyors’ sketches, at a scale of 2 in. to the mile, in preparation for the first edition 1 in. maps. These are a very valuable source of information for the development from the mid-19th c. to the present day, of the various areas previously in Hertfordshire and now in LBB, both because of their accuracy, and consistency and because of their frequent revisions.

Tithe Maps

These arc the next important type of map. An original and two copies were prepared of each tithe commutation award and map for each parish under the provisions of the Tithe Act of 1836 (6 & 7 Wm IV c.71). The original was deposited with the Tithe Commissioners, and these originals are now all held by the PRO; one copy went to the Diocesan Registrar and one to the incumbent and churchwardens of the parish. It is one or both
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of the copies which are held by a Record Office; where neither copy is found, it usually indicates that the parish copy has not been deposited and the diocesan copy is missing – not that no award, and therefore no map, was ever made.

Herts Record Office holds the Tithe map for Totteridge only; the map itself is not dated, though the award is dated 1840. A map and award were certainly made for Chipping and East Barnet, since copies of the original (now with the PRO) are held in the Local History Library, LBB.

Information provided by tithe maps consists of the name of the owner, occupier, parcel number as shown on the map, name and description of the property, the state of cultivation, the acreage of the parcel and the amount of tithe rent charge apportioned to each parcel.

Enclosure Maps

These are the next important surviving series of maps created under local or private acts. Again three copies were made; one enrolled with the Clerk of the Peace, one deposited with the parish records in the custody of the incumbent and churchwardens, and one with the principal land owner or lord of the manor.

There is only one enclosure award and map for the Herts section of the borough, that of Chipping and East Barnet, which formed part of the Records of the Clerk of the Peace. There are 5 maps bound with the award, on parchment; they show houses, with larger properties named.

It is useful to remember that an enclosure award sets out a new pattern of land holding and details new arrangements. It is the a situation which the map illustrates, not the pattern as it existed prior to the enclosure of open or common fields and land.

Earlier Estate and Other Maps

There are also earlier estate maps which can be useful; one exists for East Barnet in the late 18th c, giving names of fields and of adjoining landowners, and showing the churchyard. There is also one for Totteridge for approximately the same period, though here no title, surveyor or date are listed. It shows the layouts of houses and gardens, and – an interesting feature – a canal. There are several estate maps for North Mimms, 3 of them relating to Gubbins (or Gobions) 1815-41, and one of 1810 for Laurel Cottage at Dancers Hill, South, Mimms.

Maps showing properties in detail are also attached to sale catalogues and deeds, but these are not usually listed separately.

There is a miscellaneous collection of plans at the Record Office; these include such items as a plan of property in High Street, Chipping Barnet, 1783; a plan of Barnet Cattle Market and auction offices, New Road, 1902; Chipping Barnet National School plans, 1846-71; New Barnet Lyonsdown Trinity C. of E. School plans, 1869; printed plan of freehold building estate; showing plots fronting Salisbury, Strafford, Alston and Stapylton Roads, 1881; and a mansion and land of the National Freehold Land Society, 1852.

Other Records

Other than maps and Quarter Session Records (dealt with last month), there are of course a large selection of other records depositad at Herts Record Office.

The manorial rolls of Chipping and East Barnet are in the custody of the Barnet Local History Society at Barnet Museum, but other manorial papers are at Hertford e.g. the stewards records 1887-1937; and the Chandos Charity papers regarding tolls and the mineral well on the common, 1734-1808.
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There are various business records; the Manor Road estate, for instance, including plans and sale particulars for 1867-1903; papers concerning the trust property in Wood Street ca11cd ‘The Whalebones,’ 1828-1902; , papers and correspondence concerning a “Barnet Brewery” in Wood Street, 1868-91; and draft leases, correspondence and other papers of Barnet College in Wood Street, 1890-1901.

The Pubs of Barnet

Licensing records are to be found with the Quarter Sessions papers, but there is also a considerable amount of material relating to the various inns in Barnet; Particularly in the form of deeds, ranging from one for the Mermaid Inn for 1601 to the Crown and Anchor (formerly the Boars Head) for 1785-1897. Among the inns included are the Antelope (now the Red Lion) 1690-1720; the Railway Tavern, 1857-74; the Rose and Crown and Mitre, 1667; the Rising Sun (formerly the Roebuck) 1667; the Edinburgh Castle; Mitre, Three Elms and Cat Inn 1790-1885; and the Black Prince Beerhouse, East Barnet, the Park Road Beerhouse; the Old Red Lion, the Rising Sun, Barnet Common and the Railway Tavern, Hadley Common, 1805-60.

There were many charities in Barnet whose records have survived. They include the Chandos Charity (mentioned above) papers 1734-1868, with the account book for maintenance of Barnet Poor, 1795-1843., correspondence concerning appointment of trustees, 1882-99, and a copy of Chandos Enclosure Act, 1729; Elizabeth Al1ens trust scheme for regulating the school, 1873-1930; Garretts Almshouse charity correspondence, memoranda, papers concerning administration, trustees and history of the charity, 1890-1949;. Palmers Almshouses Charity correspondence and accounts , 1883-93; Valentine Poo1es charity -correspondence and papers 1893-1935; Barnet Poor Allotment Charity correspondence, 1889-1925; and statement of accounts for all Barnet charities printed together 1931.

There are also a great many papers and, in some cases, plans relating to various Barnet schools, such as Queen Elizabeths Grammar school, Chipping Barnet, East Barnet National Schools and New Barnet Lyonsdown Trinity C. of E. School; also papers of families and estates; such as the Brand family, 1795; Littlegrove, 1697-1821; Bohun Lodge; 1827-1916; and Barnet Brewery, Wood St, 1729-1892; and personal records, such as the diary of Augustus Henry Bosanquet of Osidge, East Barnet, 1857-76. This is only a small samp1e of the material held at the Herts Record Office; it is worth remembering that additional material is constantly deposited, and it is always worth checking to see if anything is available on a particular subject or query.

Do any HADAS member’s recall Cricklewood in earlier days, or has anyone inherited photos, press cuttings, posters or maps which might throw light on the district? If anyone has, they may be interested in helping with an enquiry which came to the Society recently. It was from a firm with offices in Cricklewood which is preparing a short history of the area. They are particularly interested in the former Westcroft Farm area of Cricklewood Lane, but would be glad of information about the whole district. They intend to produce a small publication. Members interested in this enquiry can get further details from Brigid Grafton Green.
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The September Newsletter carried a transcript of a tape-recording called The Carpenter’s Ta1e. HADAS member PERCY REBOUL has now provided another transcript in the same series. From the outset the postman himself is speaking.

I was born at Finchley in 1903 and went to various local schools, including St. Mary’s at Finchley. I joined the Post Office in November, 1930, and left in 1968 with 38 years service including war service. In those days most recruitment was through ex-servicemen and many postmen had served in the 1914-18 war. I applied for a job while I was in the Army and was put on a register. Two and a half years later a vacancy occurred. Coming from the services, the 2nd Class Certificate of Education was sufficient, and I was posted to High Street, Barnet.

I remember my first day well. I was in civilian clothes and had to be at Barnet at 6 am, where I was given an arm band. It was pouring with rain and I was given a large PO sack to drape round my shoulders. Looking a bit of a freak, I was assigned to a senior postman called George Abbott, who told me what to do. He was friendly, but discipline was very strict in those days.

I hadn’t a clue about the job. I had to learn about sorting. Some mail came by motor and some by rail from Barnet. The mail was brought into the Postmens’ Office, tipped out onto a table and the letters spread around. It was all for the Barnet area and had to be sorted into ‘walks’ – we don’t call it a round. You had to learn which roads were in each walk, and the mail was sorted into streets and numbers in the proper order.

A11 deliveries were on foot but Barnet had two sorts of postmen – the town men and the rural men who delivered in areas like South Mimms. The latter had heavy bicycles which I believe are still used today. There were 3 deliveries. One set out at 7 am, another at 11 am and the third at 3 pm. Barnet Post Office was in Outer London, adjacent was Whetstone, in the inner London area, where they did 4 deliveries a day. Conditions were quite different in the two areas.

Bright as a Button

We were inspected every morning before work. Buttons had to be bright and shoes properly cleaned. A black tie and white shirt had to be worn. This was part of the discipline and there was no resentment.

My uniform came after one month: navy blue coarse serge trousers, waistcoat and jacket, and an odd shaped hat called a ‘shako’ with a peak front and rear. The peak at the back was to stop water running down your neck. You bought your own shoes and wore your own shirt and tie. An interesting accessory was an oil-lamp which fitted into your buttonhole. It was convenient in winter because you could warm your hands on it – you can’t wear gloves when you’re delivering mail.

The pay was £2. 7s. a week. This was quite good money for those-days and conditions were good, as it was an established civil service job. However, after 6 months the economic crisis came and everyone took a cut in wages – mine went down to £2. 3s. 6d. We protested, marched down Whitehall and got mixed up with militant communists. You must remember that we were civil servants under the Treasury and were not supposed to protest against the state or to strike. All we could do was feebly demonstrate and write to our MP – but nothing could be done.

We worked a 48-hour week, split duty, from 6 am – ll am and- 3 – 6 pm. There was a fortnight’s holiday, regulated by seniority. You were told when you could take your holiday. My first leave was the first two weeks in March. It snowed all the time. Other benefits were a non-contributory pension scheme and generous sick leave. Incremental increases had to be qualified for. I lost my first increment because I was late 16 times during the year (a total time in 12 months of 1 3/4 hours) when the maximum allowed was 15 times: – I lost 3s 6d a week for 3 months -and that was a lot of money. Again, it was part, of the discipline.
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Move to Whetstone

After 4 1/2 years I was fortunate to get a transfer to Whetstone – the Sorting Office at Oakleigh Road. Being Inner London, we got an extra 7s a week and I worked ‘on the motors’, which was another 7s. a week. You were engaged, among other things, on Primary Sorting, which means, briefly, sorting the mail collected from the Barnet area into towns and regions, all over the country. I went to a special training school in Islington for one month to learn this job.

I used to pick up the Barnet mails from Market Place, East Finchley at 5.30 am in the motor and drop them of at North Finchley and Whetstone so my work embraced driving, vehicle maintenance, delivery, sorting, franking and collection from the post boxes. All local letters had to be delivered by 8 am and if they were not, people would ring up to check where their letter was. At this time – around 1935 – Lord Hewitt (who was, I believe, Lord Chief Justice) lived in Totteridge. We had to guarantee that he got his mail by 7.30 am and a special van delivery was made to his house opposite Totteridge Church.

If you made a mistake in sorting – for example, put a Birmingham letter into a Brighton sorting box or if a postman delivered a letter for No. 23 to No. 25 and someone complained, you were officially handed a PIB form. This required you at once to furnish an explanation. Often there was no answer except that you had made a mistake – and for that there was no excuse. The form was sent to Head Office and you were reprimanded. It was even possible to have your increment stopped for up to 12 months.

Trade Union Affairs – As They Once Were

As civil servants we were limited in trade union matters. The Annual Conference was held all over the country; if you attended, you had to pay your own upkeep – the Union paid only the rail fare. On one occasion the Barnet representative and I pooled our financial resources: by sharing a room and even a bed we kept expenses down and both managed to attend the conference in the Isle of Man. On the lighter side, I well remember a resolution at Conference on the quality of the dye used in postmen’s uniforms. It used to come through if you got wet. Moving the resolution, one member recounted his fear of meeting with an accident and how ashamed he would be to be found with blue streaks on his underwear. An outstanding memory is of Walter Citrine addressing the Conference. He was so serene and confident in his running of Trade Union affairs.

Just before the last war the area was growing considerably, specially on the south side of Totteridge Lane and Totteridge Green. This meant that men had more work and could not do it in the time allowed. In such cases, the Union Secretary applied for a ‘test.’ An inspector would come and walk round with the postman to see how long it took.

Perhaps I shouldn’t tell this story – but I will. We would be tipped off that someone was coming to do a test, and we had a system of buying a lot of postcards and addressing them to all the outlandish places to make sure that the postman went there during the test. We would write anything on the card – Buy Typhoo Tea, or something like that – so that the bloke being tested did the maximum journey.

(Editor’s note: I would be fascinated to hear from anyone who may still have such a card. A real collector’s item, as yet not mentioned in the catalogues!)


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Minimart time is nearly here again, and so this is a call for all good HADAS members to come to the aid of the Society.

The Minimart will take place on MARCH 3 next at the Henry Burden Hall, Egerton Gardens, NW4 (nearly opposite Central Library in the Burroughs) from 10am-12 noon. We look forward to a great response this year, so please go through cupboards end lofts and see what you can offer us.

The Society depends greatly on the funds it manages to raise – and this is increasingly so each year as costs continue to soar. Postage, duplicating and phone calls are now each a major item of expenditure; and this year we have an added incentive to raise money for equipping the room we are renting at Avenue House. It needs various bits of furniture and also a fair footage of shelves for books, finds and so on.

In addition to your help in stocking the Minimart stalls, we look forward too to your support “on the day” – so do note the date in your diary. You can also help by showing a poster in your car or on the. gate of your house, or by persuading your local shop to display one. Posters will be available at the lecture on Feb. 6.

The Minimart stalls will be as follows:

HOME PRODUCE. Home-made cakes, jams, marmalade and chutney will be specially welcome, but all foodstuffs will be gratefully received. Daphne Lorimer.

MISCELLANY. Unwanted gifts, stationery, jewellery, cosmetics, etc. Nell Penny.

NEARLY NEW. Men’s, women’s and children’s clothing in reasonable condition. Dorothy Newbury.

BRIC-A-BRAC. Brass, pewter, china (anything that’s saleable and small enough to transport). Christine Arnott. BOOKS. George Ingram.

GROT SHOP. A new venture, to be run by Marjorie Errington. Items will cost under lOp or will be strange pieces we have been unable to identify.

The names of those in charge of the stalls have been given so that you can get in touch with them to arrange collection, if required. Articles can also be brought to the February lecture (the only lecture between now and the Minimart); or to the processing weekend, at the Teahouse, Northway, NWll on Feb. 3/4.
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Offers of help on March 3 from 9 am onwards will be very welcome or for setting up the previous evening, March 2. Please give Christine Arnott a ring about this.

The organisers have been offered some items which are too large to handle at the Henry Burden hall. These are:

2 Dimplex l 1/2 kilowatt electric radiators, 1 cream, 1 white, size 24 ins. by 22 ins. Further details, including cost, etc, obtainable from Dave King.

A Lloyd loom armchair, painted white, suitable for garden or house use. £1.50. Ring Christine Arnott. ===THE SPRING LECTURES=== The second part of the HADAS lecture season will be as follows: Tues. Jan. 2. “I’ve come about the drains” – Tony Rook on the development of Roman bath systems.

Tues. Feb.6. Stone Age Farmers in Brittany – Dr. Barbara Bender, BA, PhD

Tues. Mar. 6. The Archaeology of the Second Industrial Revolution – Kenneth Hudson, MA, MEd, FSA

Tues. Apr. 3. The Etruscans – Geoffrey Toms, MA.

Lectures are at Central Library, The Burroughs, NW4 – coffee a 8 pm, lecture at 8.30. Please bring your membership card with you because of the Borough Librarian’s request that only 116 people should be present.

By Daphne Lorimer.

On Sunday Dec. 3 forty-five stalwart field-walkers, under the leadership of Desmond Collins, braved a drizzle to examine reported Mesolithic sites on Hampstead Heath. We were particularly glad to welcome Christopher Wade from, the Camden History Society, and two members of Belmont School (Mill Hill), Archaeological Society.

The first site (TQ 262 862) lay near the Vale of Health. It was reported to HADAS last year by the Museum of London, who had unearthed a fascinating correspondence between Mr. Herbert Maryon of Hampstead and Mr. (now Sir) Thomas Kendrick of the British Museum. Mr. Maryon had watched in 1940, the digging of three sandpits some 300-400 yards south of Spaniards Road between Jack Straws Castle and the Vale of Health Hotel (now no more). He noted in the sides of the excavations the remains of two or three cooking pits. No pottery was found. The sites were examined apparently first by Professor Hawkes (then Mr Hawkes of the British Museum) and later by Professor Grimes, but no archaeological excavation of the site was undertaken. In 1948 the area was reported to have been bulldozed, thus obliterating “nearly every mark.”

It was thought by HADAS, that the absence of pottery might indicate Mesolithic settlement. However, we found no flints at this point on our walk, but it is possible that we did not locate the precise position of the old sand pits. Three possible struck flakes were found among tree roots on the path above the Vale of Health.

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The second site (TQ 268868) had been pointed out by HADAS member Phyl Dobbins. It lay by the fence of Kenwood and produced a number of struck flakes.

The third site (TQ 270866) had been drawn to our attention by non-member John Nicholl. It lay further over the Heath near the viaduct above the ponds. The site consisted of a relatively flat platform on high Ground. There proved to be a considerable surface scatter, indicating a site possibly as big as that of West Heath.

The finds which resulted from the walk will be on show at the HADAS January meeting.

Another walk is now planned. It is hoped to explore the Hampstead Heath Extension on Sun. Jan. 14 1979. Members wishing to take part are asked to inform Daphne Lorimer beforehand, and to meet at 10 am at the North End Road entrance to Golders Hill Park.

HADAS members are also urged to look out for struck flakes in every part of the Borough. Reports of such finds in the valleys of the River Brent and its tributaries would be particularly welcome. Just to whet members’ appetites, we have found blade and core trimming flakes near a tree in Golders Hill Park (TQ number purposely withheld: it might upset the gardening!); while a field walk last year at Bury Farm, Edgware, produced a beautiful core and a flake.

By Lilly Lewy.

Dinner at Grim’s Dyke, Harrow Weald! It beckoned irresistibly to everyone interested in archaeology. Doubtless we would have mead, and barley bannocks baked on the hearthstone under the rooftree of a Saxon hall within the bounds of a great earthwork thrown up. (in a single night, of course) by Odin (familiarly known as Grim) in the impenetrable forests (weald) that surround the little settlement of Herga on its hill.

The reality was entirely different, but no less enjoyable. In a house named for the nearby Grimsdkye but built in the height of Victorian Gothic style by Norman Shaw, complete with “a wealth of fine panelling,” masses of Tudor doorways, Great Hall with gilt ceiling arid minstrel gallery and whatsoever the successful Victorian gentleman could desire in his residence, HADAS members met in the roomy entrance hall (log fire simulated by clever lighting), sipped sherry in the spacious library (shelves partly filled with tempting antique-bound volumes of old magazines) and went in to dinner in what was formerly Sir William Gilbert’s music room, where he was wont to entertain and be entertained by his friends.

Their reincarnations duly materialisod as a group of three ladies, three gentlemen and a most competent accompanist. In the course of the evening they gave us the chance of enjoying (in solos, duets, trios, quartets and choruses) the wit and verbal skill of William Schwenck Gilbert and the brilliance with which he complemented the music of Arthur Sullivan in every mood and form. These musical performances were interspersed with the serving of a very pleasant meal, and – the highlight of the evening, introduced by Councillor Brian Jarman, was a talk by the doyen of the HADAS committee and our oldest member, Mr. Eric Wookey. He disarmed us all by claiming that he had “only looked it all up in the Colindale Library that afternoon,” and then went on to fill in the background of Gilbert’s career and life at Grimsdyke, including his tragic death in his own swimming pool in the grounds.
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Mr. Wookey’s initiative in consulting the contemporary resulted in an enjoyable and illuminating talk.

To those who were not too familiar with the works of Gilbert and Sullivan, this was a chance to hear excerpts from many of the best known Savoy Operas. To those who knew them already, it was an opportunity to enjoy them in congenial company and unique, surroundings. For all present this get together of ninety-eight old and new friends provided another chance to marvel at the way in which Dorothy Newbury and her co-workers had persuaded transport, entertainment, food, drink and even the weather to contribute to a delightful outing.

One would rather not contemplate how many hours of painstaking planning and correspondence went to making it all seem so easy and effortless. Our thanks to all who worked so hard on our behalf – and already we are musing on what next year’s Christmas treat is likely to be …

One trench of those to be included in the interim report remains to be finished in the New Year. Backfilling of other unfinished trenches (which will not figure in the interim report) has been completed. The 1976 spoil heap has now been levelled. Members may be interested to know that the pieces of leather, wood, bone and iron buried there experimentally 15 months ago were in surprisingly good shape. They have been re-interred elsewhere. There is a considerable amount of processing to be done on the West Heath Material. It is hoped to continue this at Avenue House, East End Road, Finchley, on Wednesdays: and (since we now have a room where material can be left out undistrubed) on other weekdays as well. Space is limited but Daphne Lorimer would be glad to have the names of volunteers and a rota could possibly be organised.

A further processing weekend has been arranged for Feb 2/4 at the Teahouse, Northway, NW11. Work will go on from 10 am-5 pm each day. Do note the date in your new diary now.

N.B. A neat hand to make fair copies of sections and distribution charts is urgently needed. Offers of help, please, to Daphne Lorimer.

Borough Archivist, JOANNA CORDEN continues her series on archives for local historians.

The most important selection of records here which are relevant to the London Borough of Barnet are those relating to the Quarter Sessions which, like those of Middlesex, reflect the enormous variety of functions undertaken by the Justices of the Peace. Unlike Middlesex, however, the civil administration was divided between the County and the Liberty of St. Albans. The latter had jurisdiction over all parishes originally owned by the Abbot of St. Albans, which included Elstree, Chipping and East Barnet before 1874, and those three plus Totteridge after l874, when all four parishes were included within the Western or Liberty of St. Albans Division after the amalgamation of the Liberty with the County.
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It is as well to note that the Quarter Sessions records of the County before 1874 are mostly separate from those of the Liberty, except that between 1825-74 the Clerk for each jurisdiction was the same person and so unfortunately Liberty papers are sometimes found among County papers and vice-versa. An index to the Sessions Records was first compiled in 1825, and this was revised from time to time, as in 1831 when the index to the Liberty Sessions Records showed them to consist of Sessions Rolls, Minute Books and Order Books, beginning in 1758. Nothing is known of the records before that date.

The records are of course very similar in form to those of Middlesex. The Court of Quarter Sessions met four times a year (or more often if necessary) and gradually became the seat of authority for local government and administration of services, as well as a criminal tribunal and an agency for the maintenance of law and order. The Justices, booth in and out of Sessions, were responsible for many of the local government services which finally became transferred to County Councils in 1888. Within the limits set by various statutes they had wide powers. Hence in the Sessions Records there is not only a record of the lesser felonies, misdemeanours and punishment of crime, but a great deal about the administrative services of local government and its social background.

Judicial and allied records consist of Sessions Books and Minute Books, which form the official record of Court proceedings and decisions, and thus deal with much of the business of the Sessions Rolls record. There are also Process and Indictment books 1872-1895, with earlier presentments and indictments recorded in the Sessions books; Recognizance Books 1829-1894, including depositions of witnesses and persons accused of disturbing the peace at Barnet, 1833; Gaol Books, consisting of Gaol and House of Correction Calendars, records of convictions and recognizances delivered into court. After 1828 Gaol Calendars are included in the Sessions Books, and recognizances have a separate record book.

Fines and Estreats of Fines are included in these Records, consisting of returns made, on the Sheriffs Account, to the Exchequer, of Fines and Issues of the Court of Common Pleas and of Estreats of Fines forfeited at the Liberty Quarter Sessions 1802-1834. Various other Fines and draft accounts exist for the period 1822~1860, as well as Fee Books, with Fees of Sessions for 1819-1864.

There are separate records for the Gaol and House of Correction, all beginning in 1758, the first year for which any records survive, and .there are frequent references all through the Sessions Rolls and Books to them. These include estimates, accounts, orders, matters relating to supplies, treatment and maintenance of prisoners, fees paid to keepers, their appointment, payments to other staff, etc. From 1822 there are regular reports of the Visiting Justices, and Chaplains reports from 1836. Accounts for medical attention and medicines go back to 1775.

Very little can be traced about early Divisional and Petty Sessional meetings in the Liberty, but by 1795 there were magistrates meetincs at Watford, St. Albans and Barnet for licensing purposes; they also put into execution a Quarters Sessions order about the baking in that year of only standard wheaten bread. Records of meetings at Barnet survive for 1796-7, and they are the only surviving examples before the 19th c. The proceedings were held at the Boars’ Head Inn, Barnet, and concern many aspects of local jurisdiction, as well as highway administration, which were generally despatched by two Justices. Lists of summary convictions exist for 1833 and 1835 and a register of convictions under the Criminal Justice Act 1855-1870, which 1ists the name of the person convicted, offence and punishment.
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Records of Quarter Sessions also cover administrative services (boundaries, census, finance and rating, highways, poor relief, bastardy, lunacy, constabu1ary, reformatories and industrial schools, licensing, inspection and certification (public houses and victuallers, recognizances, music and dancing licences, licensed tradesmen, printing presses, weights and measures, food and drugs) religious and social institutions (religious bodies and meeting houses, Freemasons, friendly societies, building societies) enrolments, deposits and allied records (land tax, window and house tax, parliamentary elections, charities, enclosure awards, public undertakings and deposited plans). The list is almost endless.

For those who are unable to travel to Hertford and work through the original records, it is useful to know that many of the items mentioned above are calendared in Hertfordshire County Records Vol. IV, published by the Hertfordshire County Council 1905-1957, but only up to 1841; a typewritten calendar is available at Hertford County Record Office for the period 1841-1874 when the Liberty records came to an end on amalgamation with the County.

For those interested in judicial records, it is worth noting that although documents to the Assizes can be found among the Sheriff’s papers, the official Assize records have been deposited in the Public Record Office, now at Kew, and consist of the early records of the Justices Itinerant (1247-1455) and of other records of the Home and South Eastern Circuits i.e. Indictments 1559-1891; Miscellaneous Books 1673-1891; Agenda books 1753-1887; Estreats 1770-1810; Minute Books 1783~1891; Depositions 1813-1889 and Pleadings 1870-1890.

Just to round off 1978, here’s a welcome to the latest contingent of new members of HADAS who joined during the last four months of that year. They are:

Helen Adam, Hendon; Mrs. J. Back, Golders Green; M D Bennett, East Finchley; Nancy Bettinson, Hampstead; T A Dawson, Totteridge; Rose Finkle, Golders Green; Betty Fox, East Finchley; Mary Gandy, Totteridge; Ruth Goldstraw, NW6; Mrs. Green, Hendon; Mr & Mrs Hamilton, Garden Suburb; Frank Hayward, Hendon; Betty Law, Cricklewood; Maurice Lazarus, Totteridge; Mrs. 0 Levin, East Finchley; Ann Lowe, Garden Suburb; Mrs & Misses Rarmilla and Pippa Nissen, Highgate; Susan O’Neill, Chelsea; Clive Oppenheimer, Mill Hill; Mrs. Osterweil, Wembley; Michael Purton, Finchley; Rev. L F Rice, Mill Hill; Deborah Roberts, Totteridge; Mr & Mrs Sleight; Barnet; Christopher Stevens, Cricklewood; Mr & Mrs Stokes, Highgate; Pamela Townsend, Hampstead; Diana Wheatley, Stanmore; Viv Williamson, Colindale.

A special exhibition on Industrial Archaeology is on now at the Museum of London annd will continue until the end of January. It has been arranged jointly by the Museum ‘and the Greater London Industrial Archaeology Society.

The exhibition emphasises the local nature, within London, of industry – Clerkenwell for luxury metal trades, Bethnal Green and Shoreditch for weaving, cabinet making and shoemaking, Camden Town for pianos and Southwark for hats. Tanners worked in Bermondsey and printers in the City, while the river and the docks attracted to the East End such industries as sugar refining, soap making, tobacco and ~ chemical working.
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In addition there are the general industries that served everyone everywhere: the supply of water, gas, electricity, hydraulic power, transport and main drainage.

As we are on the subject of Industrial Archaeology, don’t forget that HADAS’s exhibition on that subject, as it affects our own Borough “Here Today, Gone Tomorrow”, also goes on till the end of January at Barnet Museum, Wood Street – open on Tuesday, Thursday and Saturday afternoons, 2.30-4.30 pm and Saturday mornings 10-12.30.
An Industrial Archaeology query

.. comes from Bill Firth:

“I have been asked for information about the tram depot at Hendon (Colindale). The Metropolitan Electric Tramways Company seems to have been very reticent about what went on there but some famous trams were built there. When London Transport ended the trolleybus services out of the depot it was given up and has subsequently been demolished and another building put up on the site.

If any members have any information about it, would they please let me know?”

The course on the Archaeology of the Dark Ages (lecturer Miss M. Skalla, MA) at Hampstead Garden Suburb Institute on Tuesdays, 8-9.30 pm, will start again on Jan. 9 1979 for its second term.

New students will be welcome just for this second part of the course at half fees – i.e. £4.00. The first term dealt with Dark Age Europe, this coming term will be devoted to Dark Age Britain. Apply to the Institute, Central Square, NWll.

The following have recently been added to the HADAS Bookbox through the kindness of members – Philip Venning, Sandra Hooper and others – to whom many thanks (references are to the Hon. Librarian’s master list): (References on left are to categories and numbers on the Hon. Librarian’s master list)
Anthropology 8 Guide to Fossil Man Michael Day
Arch. Foreign F34 Early Hominids in Africa edit. Clifford Jolly
Misc. 157 Photocopies of articles on clay tobacco pipes from “Post Medieval Archaelogy”
158 Archaeologists Year Book 1977
Collection of guides not numbered Saxtead Green Mill
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Last year HADAS made a small donation towards the cost of the preservation of the Painted House at Dover. This year the Committee decided to do something similar; and contributed to the restoration of the Roman villa at Chedworth, Gloucestershire, a National Trust property which many of us visited on an outing in August, 1976.

We have now had a letter from the National Trust which may be of interest to members:

“I write to express the very sincere gratitude of the National Trust for the generous cheque of £10 which you have just sent us. We understand that you would like this to be earmarked towards the work we are now conducting at Chedworth Roman Villa, and I should be grateful if you could assure your members that we will spend their money as you have indicated.

I was at Chedworth last week and spent some time watching the exacting work being done on re-laying the tesserae on the new damp-proof base which has been laid over the hypocaust. As you know well, this sort of work tends to run away with money. The support of friends like yourselves is welcome indeed and is a shot in the arm to all of us concerned with looking after important features of our past.”

Enclosed with this Newsletter you will find a new HADAS membership list, containing the names of all paid-up members at January 1, 1979. Indeed, if your Newsletter is just a few days later than usual in reaching you, this list is the reason. We leave it to the last possible moment to type, and then doing it is quite a mammoth job.

Our Hon. Secretary would be very grateful if you would check your own name, address and phone number when the list reaches you – and if there is anything wrong with them, please don’t hesitate to let her know. She has a recurring nightmare that one year a gremlin will get loose – specially among the 400 or so phone numbers!

This Newsletter is going to end on a happy note. Last month we described how, after years of searching, HADAS had at last found a very small home at Avenue House, Finchley, where the London Borough of Barnet is renting us a room.

One of our members who appreciates just how much this could mean to the Society sat down at once and -with the strictest possible instructions about preserving his/her anonymity – wrote out a cheque for £50 towards our first year’s rent. It will pay almost half of it: and we can’t think of a kinder or more thoughtful gesture to start HADAS’s New Year.

Bless you, Anonymous Donor – 50 times over!


By | Uncategorized, Volume 2 : 1975 - 1979 | No Comments


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A report by PAUL CRADDOCK on the November lecture.

A large audience, even for HADAS, came to hear Professor John Evans, Director of the Institute of Archaeology, London, lecture on the first Cretans, in which we heard about the Neolithic cultures that preceded the great Minoan Bronze Age palaces. In fact, the Neolithic settlement excavated by Professor Evans lies beneath the world famous Palace of Knossos.

The natural hillock upon which Knossos lies was first occupied about BC 6000 by immigrant farmers, probably from south-west Anatolia. Although they built rectangular houses of mud-brick and had figurines of fired clay they apparently did not use pottery. Only after some considerable time was pottery made there. These first pots are very proficient, certainly not the work of beginners, but apparently have no precursors -puzzling.

The economy of the farmers was based on wheat (including so-called ‘modern’ breadwheats), barley, sheep, pig and cattle. These are amongst the earliest domestic cattle known. Throughout the 3000 years of the Neolithic the settlement closely expanded until it must have incorporated’ many hundreds of people farming, potting, weaving and trading occasionally with the coast for shell fish, and even further afield across the Aegean to Melos for obsidian. Through careful excavation and painstaking analysis Professor Evans has been able to reconstruct their world, a world lost for over 4000 years.

The appreciative HADAS audience which came to hear Professor Evans was probably the largest that the Society has had at one of its lectures: but that very success has brought problems in its train.

The Borough Librarian, David Ruddom, has drawn our attention to the fact that the audience on that occasion greatly exceeded the maximum capacity of the hall, which is 116. This is laid down by GLC regulations which, the Librarian points out, are designed for the safety and comfort of those attending meetings.

Mr. Ruddom has therefore asked us to ensure in future that our audience does not exceed 116. To comply with this request we shall for the next 2 or 3 months limit the audience to the permitted number; and regretfully we shall not admit any non-members. Members are accordingly asked to bring their membership cards with them to the January lecture and thereafter. Any member who has mislaid a card should send the Hon. Treasurer a stamped addressed envelope for replacement.

The problem of such exceptionally large audiences does not arise often – only occasionally when either the speaker or subject is of wide interest. Should this happen again, we shall investigate the possibility of finding a larger hall. If any member knows of a possible venue, we would be vary glad to hear of it – please pass the suggestion on to any of the Society’s officers.
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Some news from York this month – a city which is of importance to every British archaeologist, but is particularly interesting to HADAS since the long weekend we spent there two years ago.

First, a conference on Environmental Archaeology (very much the in-thing in 1978 archaeological circles) to be held at the University of York from Jan. 5-7 1979, under the CBA umbrella. The title is Environ- mental Archaeology in the Urban Context, the Chairman is Barry Cunliffe and the opening lecture on Friday evening is by Peter Addyman of the York Archaeological Trust. On the succeeding 2 days Soils and Sediments, Botanical Studies, Invertebrate Zoology (one speaker will be Maureen Girling, who has helped us at West Heath, on insect evidence) and Vertebrate Zoology will be examined. Cost, which covers full board, is £28.50. Closing date for applications Dec. 20 next, forms from CBA, 112 Kennington Road, London SEll 6RE.

Secondly, a beautifully produced booklet for the general reader has just been published by the York Archaeological Trust on 2000 Years of York – the Archaeological Story.”

It is in colour and the photographs are magnificent, both of sites under excavation and of objects. Particularly good are the series of five conjectural maps (done from a precisely similar angle to that of the opening air photo of York today) in four colours which show in turn Roman York in the 4th c, Anglian York c. 800 AD, Viking York c. 1000 AD, Norman York in the early 12th c and Medieval York about 1350 – a most lucid presentation of the successive phases of settlement. Price £1.45 (post 20p extra) from the Trust, 47 Aldward, York.

HADAS at last has a room of its own – only a small one, 11 ft by 8 ft, but after 15 years or more of homelessness any kind of roof over our head is a start. We are renting Room 3 at Avenue House, East End Road, Finchley; under license from the Borough of Barnet. We intend to use it mainly for storing books (the Bookbox now contains over 200 volumes) negatives, photographs and other papers and possibly a few finds, though not many things of any bulk will fit in.

Avenue House, a piece of high Victorian architecture, was mainly built in 1858/9 by a local builder, Charles Plowman, for the then owner of the land, the Rev. Edward Philip Cooper, heir to the Allen family estates. In 1874 it was bought by Henry Charles (“Inky”) Stephens, maker of Blue-black and other inks, with the famous trademark of a large blot.

Stephens often used his estate for entertaining the locals – his parties were famous – and when he died in 1918 he left the house and its magnificent grounds to the people of Finchley. There was a proviso that it be “kept open for the use and enjoyment always of the public under reasonable regulations”

The house – and the benefaction – have had a somewhat chequered career since, but it now seems that local groups are getting more chance to use the legacy. Barnet Borough Arts Council, Rotary, the Finchley Society and HADAS are among those which have found space there. Unfortunately for those like ourselves engaged in ‘leisure time activities’, the building is closed on Saturdays and Sundays; it is open on weekdays from 9 am-10.30 pm, except occasionally in July and August when it may close earlier in the evening.
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At Grimsdyke, Dec. l3. The following are the arrangements for coach pick-up:
COACH 1 leaves COACH 2 leaves
Quadrant Hendon (Labour Exchange) 7.00 pm Salisbury Hotel Barnet 6.45 pm
Colindale (Classic Cinema) 7.10 pm Victoria Pk Ballards Ln 6.55 pm
Greenshield Showroom Edgware Rd 7.20 pm Royal Oak Temple Fortune 7.05 pm
Refectory Golders Green 7.10 pm

PLEASE BE PUNCTUAL. If you alter your pick-up requirements, please let Dorothy Newbury know immediately. Otherwise you may cause delay or the coach could leave without you.

CANCELLATIONS. There have been 6 cancellations, so if anyone would like to, take part, or to bring a friend, please ring Dorothy soon. Tickets are £9.25 each.

For the information of those travelling independently, dinner is 7.45 for 8 pm. Dress is informal -long or short for ladies. The party should end about 10-10.30 pm.

Lest your January Newsletter should not reach you before the next lecture on Jan. 2 (postal services are often tricky in holiday time) here is advance information. The lecture – “I’ve come about the drains” – will be given by Tony Rook and will be on the development of Roman bath systems.

Many members will know Mr. Rook, but for those who don’t, he is Director of the Welwyn Archaeological Society, Education officer to the Lockleys Archaeological Trust and was responsible for the preservation and display of the Roman bath under the motorway at Welwyn. He has spent 6 years working on building research, three of them on Roman building in Britain and abroad. At the moment he has in the pipe-line a series of TV programmes on that subject, of which his talk to us will be a foretaste.

HADAS’s site-watching activities (described in Newsletter 85 of last March) in the Borough of Barnet include keeping a special eye on areas likely to be of particular archaeological interest. One of these is the Edgware Road, the A5, which forms a great part of the Borough’s western boundary. The road is thought to run, for most of its length, on the line, or very close to it, of Roman Watling Street probably first constructed soon after the invasion of 43 AD. It is therefore worth looking into any hole which may be made by builders or developers near the A5 in case evidence of the Roman road has become visible.

Accordingly when HADAS member Albert Dean rang up one recent Saturday to report a trench open on the west of Edgware road near Burnt Oak, beside a bingo hall formerly a cinema (at approx. OS grid ref. TQ 2029 9020) Ted Sammes and Jeremy Clynes went off to have a look.

There was one open section to be seen, about 30 ft. long. At the west end the section was 1 ft. deep, but because of a rise in the land surface and deeper cutting, it was 6 ft. deep at the east end. There was a thin layer of mixed grey disturbed topsoil, a few inches thick, overlying the whole section; for two-thirds of the trench from the east end this lay over a solid expanse of yellow clay, with few stones, which had not been bottomed even at the end where the section was 6 ft. deep; for the remaining one-third the clay shaded off into pale grey disturbed soil. There was no indication of metalling, camber or ditch which might have indicated the presence of the Roman road.

This is, of course, purely negative evidence; but collecting such scraps whenever they become available, and recording them, may someday prove valuable for future research.
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Unfortunately – and possibly because the modern road does run very much on the Watling Street line -sightings of the foundations of the Roman road are rare. One such was made well south of our Borough. It is described in Ivan Margary’s Roman Roads in Britain (revised edit. 1967, p.171) as follows: “there is no doubt about the Roman origin of Edgware Road, for considerable remains of the ancient metalling were found during road excavations between Marble Arch and Seymour Street…The general alignment of the road is closely followed by the present streets: Edgware Road, Maida Vale, Kilburn High Road, Cricklewood Broadway, Edgware Road and Stone Grove, and it was evidently sighted upon high ground at Brockley Hill, two miles beyond Edgware. The route was cleverly chosen to keep clear of low ground to the east, where there are several small streams.”

From the northern part of Barnet Borough boundary at Brockley Hill there is also evidence (though somewhat ‘conflicting) for the line of Watling Street. In Trans. LAMAS (vol 27, 1976) Stephen Castle sums up the position like this: “trenches cut in 1951-2, 1960-1, 1968 and 1970 have provided. evidence of an early road on the west side of modern Watling Street, ‘consisting of a gravel-capped clay bank with irregular side ditches, which in places contained first to second and fourth century artefacts in their infill. In a field south of the orthopaedic Hospital its width was found to vary from l3 ft. to 25 ft. over a distance of 250 yards. However, the evidence for its being Roman Watling Street is at present inconclusive. Between this road and modern Watling Street was found the remains of a later hollow way, which was apparently in use during the middle ages, certainly in use during the 18th c, but which had been supplanted by 1827 when the present road had, come into being …’A U-shaped ditch excavated in 1970, on the west side of the modern road, is clearly pre-Flavian and appears to represent the original west boundary ditch of the Roman road.”

A further piece of evidence is supplied by HADAS member Paddy Musgrove. It is a testimony to meticulous recording and a good filing system – because he made the observations 24 years ago, long before he became a member of HADAS. He had studied an Electricity Board trench across the A5 at the foot of Brockley Hill (app. TQ 182928) and wrote to Philip Suggett, then directing archaeological work at Brockley Hill for the North Middlesex Archaeological Research Committee, in December 1953: “the trench had been driven half way across the road at the time I was there and I am certain that I could see a section of portion of the Roman roadway. It was physically impossible for me to examine it at close quarters – but it seemed to be composed of coarse gravel and the portion visible indicated a surprisingly sharp camber. It was four or five feet below the level of the modern roadway.”

Mr. Suggett replied “thank you for the information about Watling Street. We took photographs of the trench …the metalling underneath the modern road is, I believe, the Roman road. It is about 13 ft. 6 ins. wide and, as you say is very steeply cambered. We also noticed a ditch on the east side, below the pavement.” Subsequently, in a footnote to one of his Brockley Hill reports (Trans. LAMAS vol XI 1954) Mr. Suggett published this information: “gravel metal1ing, flanked on the east by a well marked ditch, was found under the modern road.”

At the moment this is where the material evidence for Watling Street rests; but HADAS hopes some day to add to it.

Sun. Dec. 3. Walk on Hampstead Heath, led by Desmond Collins, looking for struck flints as signs of Mesolithic occupation. Meet at Whitestone Pond, Hampstead, 10 am. Members of the Camden History Society have been invite to join us, and we hope some of them may be able to do so.
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Digging continues in three trenches at West Heath on Wed, Sat. and Sun. mornings, 10 am-l pm, until these trenches are down to natural. The evidence they may contain is needed for the interim report which Desmond Collins hopes to publish in 1979. As soon as they are completed, digging will end for: this season. Processing of 1978 finds. There will be further processing weekends at the Teahouse, Hampstead Garden Suburb, in the early spring (details in the next Newsletter). Some processing will take place on Wednesday afernoons (2 pm-5 pm) from Nov. 29 in the new HADAS room at Avenue House. As the room is small, members who would like to help are asked to phone Daphne Lorimer first.

In the last Newsletter we listed the various suggestions which we have made to the Borough of Barnet about possible contenders for commemorative Blue Plaques. Now, at the suggestion of the Mill Hill and Hendon Historical Society, we have added a further item to our reserve list – the Inglis Barracks at Mill Hill. We are indebted to the Secretary of the Society, John Collier, for the following note on its history.

The Barracks was built in 1905 as the depot of the Middlesex Regiment, the Die-Hards. It was first known as “The Garden Barracks. It was subsequently officially known as “Inglis Barracks” after the Commander of the Middlesex Regiment, Colonel Inglis who, at the battle of Albuhera, while lying wounded, called out to his men as they passed “Die hard, Middlesex, die hard.” The flag of the Middlesex Regiment was finally hauled down on January 31, 1961.

This cry for help comes from two very different fronts…

First, has any HADAS member a folding chair or two which is not needed? If so, and you would be prepared to donate them to the Society, they would be of great use in the new room at Avenue House. Dorothy Newbury has kindly provided us with a table; and Dave King is about to go into action putting up shelving for books etc. We are, however, short of chairs; we need about 6, and they must either fold away or be very small, to suit the room.

Secondly, is there any hidden (so far) typing talent in the Society? If so, could it now come forth from its hiding place and help HADAS? We have several very faithful, industrious and conscientious typists – among them Eileen Haworth, Liz Aldridge and Olive Burton – but we hesitate to overload anyone of them. A few more volunteers who would be prepared to type occasional exhibition captions or to cut stencils (for which a strong machine is required) of notices, minutes and the like would be most welcome. May we, at the same time, thank those members who already help in this way? Offers either of chairs or typing help, please, to Brigid Grafton Green.

Two valuable additions to the Book-box, from an anonymous donor, are volumes in the Routledge & Kegan Paul Archaeology of Britain series.

Page 6

Iron Age Communities in Britain, by the Editor of the series, Barry Cunliffe, begins to bring some order into what has, for the past decade or so, been a particularly muddling and difficult period of British pre-history, on which ideas have been constantly changing. It Covers England, Scotland and Wales from the 7th c. BC to the Roman Conquest, including the initial establishment of Roman rule, and deals with every aspect – trade, settlement, economy, defences, industry, art, religion and social mores. There are appendices on pottery and on radiocarbon dates, and a very full bibliography.

The Prehistoric Settlement of Britain, by Richard Bradley, is a “must” for all 4th Yr. Diploma students taking either the Prehistoric Britain or the Environmental Archaeology courses.

Mr. Bradley has taken four fascinating aspects of Prehistoric Settlement – Clearance and Colonisation; Arable and Pastoral Farming; Trans-humance and Nomadism and Hunting, Gathering and Fishing -and has produced a synthesis of the latest developments in their study. The text is lucid, the diagrams clear, the bibliography valuable and the only jarring note is a slightly precious choice of chapter titles. D.L.
At the British Museum until Feb. 25 1979, an exhibition from the Hermitage Museum, Leningrad, from the burial mounds of Pazyryk in east Siberia. Owing to freak conditions, the contents of the Iron Age mounds were refrigerated and preserved for two millenia, including wood, felt, leather and even tattooed human skin.

The Ordnance Survey is in course of issuing new editions of two favourite specialist maps.

The third edition of the map of Monastic Britain has just been published in 2 sheets, North and South, showing the geographical distribution and historical development of monastic houses from lO66-Dissolution. There is a 36-page text by Richard Neville Haddock. Hard cover £5.00; single sheets flat £I each.

The 4th edition of the map of Roman Britain (also now 2 sheets, at 1:625000 scale, North and South) will come out in January 1979 with a text of 56 pages, an index of Roman place names, a chronology of 55 BC-AD 446, two supplementary maps and a topographical index of sites. Hard cover £5.00, single sheets £1.00 each.

Obtainable now or when published from Cook, Hammond & Kell, 22-24 Caxton St SWl or Stanfords, 12-14 Long Acre, WC2.

In addition to its degree courses the Open University provides a number of short home study courses, each lasting 10 weeks. Two which start next Feb/March may be up the street of some HADAS members. One is called “Doing History,” the other is on Industrial Archaeology.

The correspondence texts for the courses are based on degree material; there is also a study guide, radio and TV broadcasts and a series of optional assignments. Built into each course is a project specially tailored to encourage local study.

Final date for applications is Dec. 15, 1978. Forms and further information can be obtained from the Associate Student Central Office , Open University, PO Box 76, Mil ton Keynes, MK7 6AN.
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Talking of Industrial Archaeology, our exhibit on that subject, “Here today, Gone Tomorrow,” is now on show at the Museum, Wood Street, Barnet, on Tues. and Thurs. 2.30-4.30 pm, Sats 10.00-12.30 and 2.30-4.30 until January 31 next.

The exhibition deals with transport and farming: two key industries in our area for many centuries; and has a special section on Friern Hospital (formerly Colney Hatch) containing material which has not been shown before and is now on display only because of the helpful cooperation of the hospital authorities. An information sheet about the various exhibits has been prepared for visitors. The following are excerpts from it.


As a market town Barnet must have a long transport history. A “great north road” has existed at least since 1386 but no visible evidence pre-dates the 18th c. turnpike trusts. A milestone exists on Barnet Hill and a boundary stone is preserved in Ravenscroft Park. By the mid-19th c. there were regular horse-bus services to the Bank and connecting the local villages to the new railway stations.

In 1855 the Great Northern Railway’s main line to York was opened, with stations originally at Colney Hatch (New Southgate) and Barnet (New Barnet). The former served the new asylum whose site was chosen for rail access. The Edgware and High Barnet branches date from about 1870. Taken over by London Transport in 1939-40, most of the stations retain considerable Victorian atmosphere, but Edgware has disappeared.

The Midland Railway’s London extension was opened in 1867, but electrification threatens the few remaining original traces which the building of the M1 extension left untouched.

Trams started to run in the area about; 1906 and Finchley depot, now a bus garage, remains. Trolley buses replaced trams in 1936-8 and were themselves replaced by buses in 1962. Trolley bus poles, adapted as lighting standards, remain around New Southgate station.

Lamp posts bring us to the many interesting examples old, and not so old, street furniture of may kinds which still remain in the area.

In the exhibition we have tried to illustrate some of this history, mainly photographically, with examples of each phase of transport development. Bill Firth
Friern Hospital

Each age puts together the institutions it needs. The Victorians created caring communities, called asylums, for all manner of the deprived, handicapped and diseased.

The foundation stone of what was England’s finest – and Europe’s largest – mental hospital was laid by the Prince Consort in 1849. It opened in time for the Great Exhibition in July, 1851, with accommodation for 1250 patients, as the Middlesex County Pauper Lunatic Asylum at Colney Hatch. As plain Colney Hatch it became synonymous with madness, as Bedlam was in previous centuries.

It was planned as a largely self-supporting rural community with its own farm and kitchen garden, well, gas-works, brewery, laundry, needle-room and upholsterer’s, tailor’s and shoe-maker’s shops; even its own graveyard. Most of the labour was done by the patients, which kept down their cost to the ratepayer while providing varied occupational therapy. As next to nothing was known of the causes of disease, treatment was on general lines by good food, fresh air, rest, exercise, occupation and amusement.
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In 1889, on the creation of the LCC (now the GLC}, Colney Hatch became a London County Asylum. During World War I more than 3000 patients were accommodated. In 1937 it was renamed Friern Hospital, to remove old associations. In 1948 it was taken over by the National Health Service and given responsibility for a catchment including the boroughs of Camden, Islington and parts of Haringey and Enfield.

As medical knowledge grew, many of the diseases which filled it vanished and treatment for the remainder improved. In consequence the need for such a large and isolated establishment declined and continues to do so. Today there are fewer than 1000 patients and the numbers are still dropping.

The story of the old hospital is typical of many all over the country. Its medical and social history have been described in Psychiatry for the Poor, mentioned in last month’s Newsletter. Our exhibits at Barnet Museum attempt to convey some aspects of its history. David Tessler

…of Industria1 Archaeology are as diverse as the industries from which they come. HADAS has chosen two to show at Barnet: bottles and clay tobacco pipes. Both have two great archaeological virtues: they are difficult to destroy, and their typology provides excellent dating evidence.

Bottles of glass and stoneware can almost be described as being all things to all men: they can supply a wide variety of information depending’ on one’s point of view.

They can represent the stage which glass making technology has reached; which closures or methods of sealing have reached; the packaging philosophy at the time of manufacture; something of the economic and social history of an area; while the shape of the container and the style of lettering can tell us a little about the artistic taste of people buying and selling the goods within the bottles.

Although a few of the bottles on show at Barnet are about 100 years old, most are much more recent. Changes in packaging mean that today’s litter becomes tomorrow’s museum piece. When did you last see for instance, a quart or a half-pint bottle of milk? Alec Jeakins


Tobacco was introduced into the British Isles in the reign of the first Elizabeth (1558-1603). At first the smoke was inhaled from a “little ladell” – made of silver for the rich and walnut shell for the poor. Soon, however, these “ladells,” or pipes, came to be made of clay.

Because of the high price of tobacco in the 16th and early 17th c, early pipes were very small. The size of the bowl then gradually increased, with minor fluctuations, up to the end of the 19th c. With the 20th c. came briar pipes and cigarettes, and production and use of clay pipes died out.

Up to the end of the 18th c. some makers put their initials or trade marks on their pipes. In the 19th c. pipes began to appear with the full name of the maker and more elaborate makers’ marks. Many other decorations also appeared, both on stems and bowls, and this exhibit shows a few of the hundreds of designs that were produced. Included, too, is a chronological display of pipes from early 17th to late 19th c. All pipes on show at Barnet come from within our Borough. Jeremy Clynes


By | Volume 2 : 1975 - 1979 | No Comments


Page 1


You never know – or so they say – when your chickens will come home to roost. A HADAS chicken (if you don’t mind giving that youthful title to a bird that is five years old) has just arrived back in the nest, to our considerable pleasure. It is a bird whose ownership we share with three other local societies, a piece of co-operation which makes it even more welcome.

The chicken is not of the feathered variety. It is, in fact, ten new Blue Plaques, which are to go up in the fairly near future in various parts of the Borough of Barnet. Blue Plaques commemorating the famous have long been a feature of the inner London area, where first the LCC and then the GLC have been active in putting them up. Because of work done by the former Hendon Urban District Council in the 1950s, our own Borough of Barnet also rejoices in a number of plaques. They do not commemorate people only; some recall events or places, such as the site on which the Parish Cage stood, or where the Court Leet or Court Baron were held.

It was in 1973 that HADAS first suggested to the Finchley Society, the Mill Hill and Hendon Historical Society and the Barnet and District Local History Society that we should all get together and see if the London Borough of Barnet would be prepared to take up where HUDC had left off some 12 years before. Our four societies were all in agreement, and so was the Borough. In October 1973 the General Purposes Committee agreed to start putting up plaques again.

The timing was unfortunate, although we could not have foreseen that within months there came the great freeze on spending, and projects of this nature had to go. Recently, however, the financial climate has grown warmer. Particularly, the Borough has begun to administer a bequest – the Edward Harvist Charity – which allows for moderate spending on this kind of project. HADAS therefore suggested last April to its three collaborators a fresh approach to LBB, and a month or so ago we heard that this had been successful. The appropriate Council Committee had approved, “as a project to be met from the income of the Charity in the financial year 1978/9, the fixing of a maximum of 10 Commemorative plaques throughout the Borough to commemorate various events, personalities, etc, at a cost of up to £700.”

Our four Societies have now worked out together and forwarded to the Borough suggestions for plaques which might be installed. Our suggestions are in two parts – a “Top Ten” list of those we would most like to see commemorated; and our reserves – or 2nd XI – in case some of the Top Ten cannot be used. The four societies were anxious that the majority of sites in the Top Ten should be in areas where there are few or no plaques now – that is, principally outside the old Borough of Hendon.

For a full list of those already existing in LBB see The Blue Plaques of Barnet, published by HADAS in 1973 (revised edit. 1977, 45p).

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Members may be interested to have details of both the Top Ten and the 2nd XI (it would be possible to field a pretty good 3rd XI, too), so here they are:
TOP TEN 2ND XI The Physic Well, Barnet. Mark Lemon, first Editor of Punch, with associations with Long Lodge, Nether St, nr. West Samuel Pepys Finchley Station The Tudor Hall, Wood St, Celia Fiennes, diarist and writer, Barnet, built 1573 Highwood Ash, Highwood Hill Dame Henrietta Barnett (1851- G D R Cole (1890-1959) Socialist 1936),founder of Hampstead economist & writer, 74 Holders Garden Suburb, Heath End Hill Road, NW7 House, NW3 Anthony Salvin, (1799-1881) The Manor House,East End Rd: site architect, Elmhurst, East of a manor house since 13th c; End Rd, Finchley present building 1723 Sir Thomas Lipton, (1850-1931) Richard Cromwell, (d. 1712), son of founder of Lipton shops and Oliver, himself Lord Protector for owner of Shamrock yachts in 7 months. Belle Vue, East End Rd, America Cup. Osidge House, Finchley. Chase Side, Southgate. Thomas Collins (l735-183O), Arabella Stuart, possible pretender ornamental plasterer, Woodhouse to the throne of James 1, Church Hill N. Finchley House, Stuart Road, E. Barnet Marie Lloyd, (1870-1922), music Site of Priory of Knights of St. hall artist, Woodstock Avenue, John of Jerusalem, Friary Park, Golders Green Friern Barnet Thomas Tilling, (1825-93) pioneer Site of Pointers Hall, Totteridgge, motor buses, Guttershedge home of Harmsworth family (Lords Farm (now Park Rd, NW4) Northcliffe, Rothermere, et al) Sir Francis Pettit Smith, (1808-74) invented screw propeller also Guttershedge Farm (on same plaque as above) Joseph Grimaldi, clown, Fallow Will Hay, actor & comedian, The Corner, High Rd, N. Finchley White House, Gt. North Way Rev Benjamin Waugh, founder Elias Ashmole, antiquarian & founder of NSPCC, Christ Church United. of Ashmolean Museum, Belmont, Mt. Reformed Church, Friern Barnet Pleasant, Southgate David Garrick, (1717-79), actor manager, Hendon Hall Hotel

Members may have other suggestions for possible Blue Plaque contenders. If so, please send them to the Hon. Secretary, particularly if you can give fairly precise details of the address and, if the original building has been demolished, what stands there now.

On Tuesday, Nov. 7 we are fortunate in having Professor John Evans, Director of the Institute of Archaeology of London University, coming to talk to us on, the First Cretans. This is a subject on which he is pre-eminent. His excavations of the early 196Os added greatly to archaeological understanding of the Neolithic period in the Aegean and early Greece – particularly his discovery of the camp level on bedrock at Knossos, with early, middle and late Neolithic strata above it, all underlying the Palace levels of Bronze Age Minoan Crete found earlier by his namesake Sir Arthur Evans.
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This will certainly be a lecture not to miss. As always; it will be at Central Library, The Burroughs, NW4, starting with coffee at 8 pm and the lecture at 8.30.

Nov 4/5 and Nov 11/12. Two West Heath processing weekends at the Teahouse, Northway, NW11. Details were in the last Newsletter, so this is just a reminder.

At the moment digging is, in far, more important than processing, with three trenches at West Heath still to be got down to natural before the season ends. For these first two weekends of November, therefore, we shall run a two-part exercise: there will be digging at West Heath in the mornings, 10 am-lunchtime, with Terry Keenan in charge; and, as well; processing all day at the Teahouse. Active diggers are invited – indeed, encouraged to divide their time between morning digging and afternoon processing. Not-so-active members will be welcome at the Teahouse from 10 am-on.

In addition, digging will continue on Wednesdays from 10 am-lunchtime until the weather breaks.

Sat. November 25. Surveying Practice. Barrie Martin will demonstrate the use of the new HADAS level at the West Heath site at 10.30 am. This will be a good opportunity for members to get to know and handle our new instrument, and we can discuss further plans for using it during the coming winter.

Sun. December 3. Desmond Collins has agreed to lead a field walk to look for other possible Mesolithic sites on Hampstead Heath. Assemble at the White Stone pond (near Jack Straws Castle} at 10 am.

Will members who intend to come either surveying or walking please let Daphne Lorimer know their intentions beforehand?

Wed. December 13. Christmas party at Grims Dyke, Harrow Weald. Arrangements have now been completed and a form is enclosed with this Newsletter for those members who have booked for the party.

LOOKING AHEAD still further, here is advance news of next years “1ong trip.” In 1978 we went north to Orkney. In 1979 – from Sept. 19-23 in we shall go west to Wales.

We have been fortunate in securing the use of the Snowdonia National Park Study Centre for HADAS’s sole accommodation. The Centre is manned by professional staff who will guide us and give evening talks on all periods of archaeology in the North Wales area. Further details and application forms will be enclosed with the January Newsletter.

The 13th Local History Conference, sponsored by the London & Middlesex Archaeological Society, will be held on Sat. Nov 18 at the Museum of London. Door’s open at 1.30, Conference begins at 2.30.

This year the main subject is the history of commercial and nursery gardening in the London area. Tickets, price £1, including tea, are obtainable from the Hon. Soc, Local History Cttee, 3 Cameron House, Highland Road, Bromley, Kent (please enclose s.a.e}.

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The London Natural History Society will hold a symposium at the Zoo on Sat. December 9 next, and HADAS has been invited to take part in the proceedings by contributing a brief talk with slides on the West Heath dig.

Daphne Lorimer and Joyce Roberts will represent us, Daphne talking about the dig itself, Joyce about its botanical implications. Members of HADAS are cordially invited to attend. Tickets may be obtained from A J Barrett of-21 Greenway, Frinton-on-Sea, Essex, price £2, including coffee and tea.

Wed. November 29 at 8.15 pm at Hendon Library, an LBB Library lecture, Journey to the Stone Age, in which John and Julie Batchelor will talk and show film on Indonesian New Guinea.

When HADAS first planned to dig the Spring Site in 1977, the Society was asked to monitor the area after the dig finished; and to provide a report a year later, as a practical example of the regeneration of a dig site. Here is the report, by JOYCE ROBERTS MSc, PhD.

Lists of plants found on Hampstead Heath have been published over the years. There is one list by Henry T. Wharton, another in Barratt’s Annals of Hampstead, and a third by members of the Hampstead Heath Society (1913). From these a picture builds up of typical lowland and bog present over a much wider area than the wet marshy patch known by HADAS as the Bog or Spring Site today. After the first exploratory “hole” was dug in July 1976 it seemed worthwhile to find out what plants were now growing in this damp hollow.

1976 was a very dry year and there was no standing water, though the ground was squelchy in places. The chief plant was the Reed Grass (Glyceria maxima L) in the spongy peat. Where the ground was slightly drier, clumps of Soft Rush (Juncus effusus L) were found. Numerous tiny seedlings (not identifiable) were seen in small bare patches and birch seedlings derived from birch trees in the adjoining higher ground were common. Where the ground was drier outside the central hollow there were tussocks of Blue Moor-grass (Molinia caerulea Moench) and Yorkshire Fog (Holcus lanatus L); beyond this there were specimens of two heath grasses; Creeping Willow was noted; Woodrush was found in one place only. There was a bramble bush at one side and also Marsh Willowherb plants. It was clear that the more interesting bog plants such as marsh violet, bogbean, etc. no longer grew there.

In May 1977 the “big hole” was dug, leaving a pond with steep sides, a large spoil-heap of yellow sandy clay on one side and a gentle slope down to the water on the west – the runway – where the excavator had stood. Tho plants removed by the excavation were mainly the Reed Grass and Soft Rush growing in the central wetter part of the site, but large areas of the two species were undisturbed.

By July of that year the Yorkshire Fog had begun to colonise the edges of the spoil-heap, but other wise the sides of the pond, the runway and the spoil heap were bare.

By May 10, 1978, docks, Creeping Buttercup {Ranunculus repens L) and the Soft Rush were spreading across and down the runway. The spoil heap had in addition plants of Reed Grass, birch seedlings and various tiny unidentified seedlings. In a bank above the runway a robin was nesting.

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The Heath custodians now moved the chestnut paling fence much closer to the pond, so that any regeneration outside it will now not take place.

On Sept. 13, 1978, on a beautiful late summer day, the pond had lost its sharp edges and the vegetation had spread towards the water. Four fine dragon flies darted back and forth. In three places the Reed Grass had advanced into the pond; in a cleft in one of the baulks of wood floating in the water a seedling of Persicaria (Polygonum persicaria L) was growing. There were a great many Persicaria plants on the runway and near the margins of the water. In one place in the shallow water plants of the Bulbous Rush (Juncus bulbosus L) were growing. At one spot on the runway a poorly developed plant of the Lesser Spearwort (Ranunculus flammula L) had appeared. The spoil heap was now overgrown with Reed Grass, Yorkshire Fog, Creeping Buttercup and a few docks. It seems probable by next year all the bare soil will be covered and the pond will have silted up very considerably with the Reed Grass advancing still further.

It was always hoped that some of the plants recorded in the past might return, and a true regeneration of the bog take place. This does not appear to be happening, with the possible exception of the Lesser Spearwort. The draining of the bog in 1881 is supposed to have eradicated it; I suspect the one plant I have found was brought in by a bird, since it is not in general an uncommon plant – but maybe it is the result of the germination of a long dormant seed. The same may be true of the Bulbous Rush. Persicaria is often found at the margins of ponds and at the moment is growing on rough ground near Sandy Road (the unmade road which passes the lower West Heath site). One can only conclude that it does not seem likely, that the mechanical excavation of one part of the bog will lead to the re-appearance of interesting bog plants.

A report by EDGAR LEWY on the October lecture.

A distinct beginning-of-term feeling was discernible at Hendon Central Library on October 3 when Derek Gadd gave the inaugural lecture of the Society’s winter season on “The excavation of the Tudor brick royal palace at Bridewell.” Mr. Gadd had been site supervisor of the dig.

More than one hundred members and visitors enjoyed his outline history of the former Bridewell Palace, built by Henry VIII in the early 16th c. at the junction of the Fleet River and the Thames. Gardens and orchards had occupied the site, but Henry, a prolific builder, wanted a residence near the city, even though he already possessed of Sheen, Greenwich and Windsor Palaces. Today only part of the foundations remain of the elaborate brick structure he raised, shortly to be replaced by office buildings: a small panel of brickwork will be preserved as a memorial.

Mr. Gadd explained the techniques and thorough workmanship of the Tudor builders, and his generous pictorial references not only showed construction details as revealed by the excavators, but many views of Bridewell later in its history, when – abandoned by the King and his successors – it became successively a workhouse and then a squalid prison. The whole was demolished in 1865, leaving only part of the foundations to be excavated and recorded now.

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JOANNA CORDEN’S next article in the series on archives for local historians.

IV. External Sources: Pt. 3: Greater London Record Office (Middx Recs)

This office is a fruitful source of information for Finchley, Hadley, Hendon, Edgware and Friern Barnet – that is, the areas within the former county of Middlesex.

Sessions records. Before the establishment of county councils in 1888, county government was in effect carried out by the Justices of the Peace, whom “the Tudors made one of their main instruments of government” with not only judicial but also considerable administrative functions. These included the overseeing of the poor law and vagrancy; gaols, asylums, houses of correction; fairs and markets; regulation of wages, prices and weights; upkeep of roads and bridges; licensing of non-conformist meeting houses, alehouses, playhouses; and levying of rates. It is therefore inevitable that references to areas within the present borough occur in these records.


the sessions order books (containing the formal orders of the court, reports from officers and committees and wages assessments);

sessions rolls and bundles (including, among other things, presentments of offenders, indictments, informants’ reports, bonds, lists of offences, petitions, religious certificates of various kinds, licences and pauper removal orders);

session minute books – recording the verdicts and orders of the court, and lists of registered meeting houses);

records of committees (such as those dealing with licensing, finance, asylums, police); and accounts (especially for the different rates levied by the justices for specific purposes, and later a general rate) including books or rolls, cash books, ledgers, bills and vouchers.

The Quarter Sessions were also used for the enrolment, registration and deposit of documents. These include the registration of oaths, of licences granted, of electors after 1832, of dissenters’ places of worship and the enrolment and deposit of deeds of bargain and sale, of enclosure and title’ commutation documents, of taxation records and plans of projected canals and turnpikes.

Poor Law Records. During the 19th c. various bodies were established, e.g. law guardians, highway boards and local boards of health – which reduced J.Ps’ powers. These, too, are an excellent source of information unobtainable by any other means.

This is particularly true of the poor law; with the Poor Law Amendment Act of 1834 the parish basis of poor relief ceased, direction for it passing to the poor law unions and elected boards of guardians. The most important records are the Guardians’ minute books and general ledgers, which are the basis of any local study of poor relief after l834. They contain much detail on the administration of the union workhouse, such as the erection and alteration of buildings, reports from officials, and much on general social conditions. The general ledgers or account books of the boards of guardians provide information on the financial history of poor law administration, as well as a multitude of other general matters.

Land Tax Records are a valuable source of information for various purposes. They exist for most of the 18th c. until 1832. Duplicates of the annual assessments for each parish were deposited with the Clerk of the Peace, hence their presence in local county record offices. The assessments and returns were usually presented in four columns: first, names of landowners; second, names of occupiers of land (though until 1780 little effort was made to distinguish between owners and tenant occupiers); third, the rateable value; and fourth, the amount annexed and paid. In some cases the name of the property is given, and a description – e.g. close; garden, cottage, etc. they arc a useful indication of size of estates, and give information on the structure of land ownership, if used in conjunction with other local records such as enclosure.

Page 7

Diocesan Records. The MRO is a diocesan record office, hence all the records applicable to the diocese can be found here, including the parish registers (though not necessarily the vestry minutes, overseers, surveyors of the highways: or churchwardens; records). Most of the registers for parishes in our borough have been deposited, and when they have not, the same information can be found in the Bishops’ Transcripts, made at intervals from the registers. The diocesan records have mostly been transferred to the Guildhall Library.

Manorial Records for this area can also be found at the MRO. For Finchley, court books, valuations, accounts and perambulations exist for 1716-36; for Friern Barnet, court rolls for 1528-32 only; and for Hendon court rolls for 1688-1934. Indexes exist only for Hendon l460-1849, a list of Admissions to Waste 1700-1886 and a copy of a Hendon Rental 1528-9.

Land Registry Record. The records of the Middlesex Land Registry are at the MRO, from 1709-1837; those of 1837-1937 have been transferred to County Hall, and an appointment is required to consult them. These records can be extremely useful; it was not compulsory to register the transfer of property, but once registered, the property can be traced thereafter in the Registry. There are of course deposited here a great many deeds and other records relating to property in LBB, and a search of the indexes for either persons or property is always fruitful.

The Greater London Record Office (Middlesex Records) is at 1 Queen Anne’s Gate Buildings, Dartmouth Street, SWl. It-is open 9~30 am- 5 pm Mon, Tues, Wed, Fri; and 9.30 am-7.30 pm Thurs.

…is one of the youngest branches of archaeology, and very much an in-thing at the moment. We are grappling with some aspects of it at West Heath. Indeed, so new is it that there has been no time for a literature to grow up about it.

However, John G Evans, Senior Lecturer in Archaeology at University College, Cardiff, has just produced an Introduction to Environmental Archaeology which begins to fill the gap (published 1978 in paperback by Paul Elek at £2.95). It covers human environment (climate, geology, spatial variability, time, etc); plant remains; animal remains; soils and sediments and “natural situations” (e.g. deep sea cores, coastlines, ice sheets, peat bogs, etc).

The final chapter deals with archaeological (or contrived} situations, and provides a sort of potted guide to what to look for in each of them: banks and ditches of various kinds, buried ancient soil surfaces, pits, post-holes, wells, graves, lynchets, field walls, tells, urban sites and middens. This is a good basic hand-book, and worth adding to the bookshelf . .
Page 8

Talking of books, we reviewed five Shire books in the last Newsletter:

Elementary Surveying for Industrial Archaeologists – Hugh Bodey & Michael Hallas

Prehistoric Pottery – Nancy G Langmaid

Anglo-Saxon Pottery – David H Kennett

Medieval Pottery – Jeremy Has1am

Pottery in Roman Britain (revised) Vivien G Swan

Our Hon. Treasurer asks us to remind you that these five can be obtained from him, price £1.25 each plus 15p postage. He can also obtain any other title you may want in the Shire range, and will be happy to do so.

A course which may interest some HADAS members starts at Barnet after Christmas. It is on the Archaeology of Roman London, and is by an acknowledged expert – Ralph Merrifield, who was until last August, when he retired, a senior member of the staff of the Museum of London.

Mr. Merrifield – author of The Roman City of London, published by Benn in 1965 – will give 12 lectures on Fridays from 10.30-12.30 in the morning, starting Jan. 5, at the Old Bull, 68 High Street, Barnet. He will cover the origins of Londiniurn, its development as an administrative (centre and capital, its topography, defences, trade, crafts, domestic life, religion and later history. The course has been arranged by Barnet WEA and applications to join should be made to Mr. K L Woodland, 22 Birley Rd, N20.

Other news comes about Ralph Merrifield this month. The London & Middlesex Archaeological Society has produced, as its Special Paper No. 2:, a festschrift volume on his retirement, Collectanea Londiniensia.

After an introductory tribute from Professor Grimes and a bibliography of the Merrifield published works, there are 35 studies on various aspects of the history and archaeology of London, ranging from prehistory to the memorials of the West Norwood Cemetery. They cover such diverse topics as Iron Age coinage, Roman clay statuettes, Saxon land grants, the trousseau of Princess Elizabeth Stuart and the making of Coade stone.

Since HADAS is affiliated to LAMAS, we receive a copy of this interesting volume free, and at the next HADAS November meeting it will be in the Bookbox. If you would like to borrow it, please apply to our Hon. Librarian.

Another book, of interest to local historians and industrial archaeologists, has unexpectedly been added recently to the Bookbox – a history of Friern Hospital from the time it opened in 1853 as Colney Hatch Asylum up to 1973.

Called Psychiatry for the Poor, it is a medical/social history. There are chapters on the early buildings and their later enlargement; on early treatment, and how treatment changed and improved; on the financial side, the legal aspects of insanity, and many other points. It has kindly been presented to HADAS by one of its co-authors, Dr. Richard Hunter.

Friern Hospital figures in the current HADAS Industrial Archaeology exhibition, “Here Today Gone Tomorrow, now at the Barnet Museum. The hospital authorities have lent many interesting Relics, including early, photos, plans and objects. Members who are in Barnet in the next 3 months may care to look in to see this display – the times the Museum is open were given in the last Newsletter.


By | Volume 2 : 1975 - 1979 | No Comments


Page 1


By Daphne Lorimer

Each month we feel that the West Heath dig – first from one aspect, then another – has scaled a new peak and reached the maximum of its achievement; and each month it manages to do it again. September was no exception. On September 17 the first axe was found on the site – something for which we had all been hoping (and trowelling) for years.

It’s a core axe – that is, one from which no sharpening tranchet flake has been struck – and a fine one. Such a find is rare. Axes are not uncovered on all Mesolithic sites by any means; and few Mesolithic sites can produce more than one or, two axes at most.

Nor was that all. Our September “bag” included pieces of sandstone of varying sizes and markings; these are becoming a feature of the part of the site in which we are now digging, and they pose interesting problems and give scope for interesting theories. A large possible posthole, containing a quite unusual concentration of charcoal, has also been revealed.

The sunshine of the last couple of months has been particularly welcome at West Heath, as the bad weather of early summer had slowed us up considerably. Members have turned out in some force, and great strides have been made towards the completion of a number of trenches.

The results of radio-carbon and thermoluminescence dating, and of magnetometric tests, are all eagerly awaited, and are promised soon by the various experts who are carrying them out. One of this season’s projects has been to make tests for phosphate content of the soil, in an endeavour to locate a midden. A description of the technique that has been used, and the results, will be given in a forthcoming Newsletter.

Meantime digging will continue on Wednesdays, Saturdays and Sundays until the weather breaks – so do come and dig whenever you can. Every trowel counts and every hour helps at this stage. Needless to say, the site is, as ever, very rewarding and – who knows? – we may, “achieve the ultimate accolade by finding a buria1!

For the second time this year an outing has proved so popular that we have decided to repeat it, so that the many people disappointed on the first trip can have a second chance.

On Sat. Oct. 7 John Enderby has kindly agreed to organise once more his excellent tour of Framlingham and Heveningham, first run on Aug. 12 this year. In case you have mislaid your original information sheet, the coach will leave The Quadrant, Finchley Lane, at 8.15 am, and the Refectory, Golders Green, at 8.25. There are still three places available, so if you feel a last minute urge to join, please ring Dorothy Newbury and book one of them. The cost, including teat is £3.70. In view of this additional outing, there will be no digging at West Heath on Oct. 7.
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The first lecture of the winter season takes place on Tuesday, Oct. 3, and is on the excavation of Henry VIII’s Bridewell Palace. It will be given by Derek Gadd, site supervisor of the dig, who is employed by the Department of Urban Archaeology, Museum of London.

This was a rescue dig which took place last spring in advance of re-development. The palace, built between 1515-1523, was used by Henry as his principal London home for about six years and then became a, centre for state functions. By 1553, however, its palace days were over. It became in turn a workhouse and a house of correction, and was finally demolished -and its exact site forgotten -in the 1860s.

Demolition of modern buildings in 1977 revealed part of the main courtyard and, for the first time, pinpointed the precise whereabouts of the palace. Now, thanks to two months’ intensive excavation, Mr.-Gadd, will be able to tell us a great deal about this historic building.

As the winter season is just beginning, a few notes about lecture arrangements may be helpful particularly to our many new members.

Lectures will, as usual, take place on the first Tuesday of each month at Central Library, The Burroughs, Hendon, NW4 (near the Town Hall). Buses 83 and 143 pass the door; Nos. 240, 125, 183 and 113 are within 10 minutes walk, as is Hendon Central Underground station. There are two free car parks nearly opposite the Library.

The lecture room upstairs opens at 8 pm, when coffee and biscuits will be available at 10p, and there will be an opportunity to meet each other and chat. New members are particularly invited to introduce themselves to the Society’s officers and Committee (who will be sporting name badges), who will be happy to help them “break the ice.” Our Hon. Librarian, George Ingram, will be there to arrange loans from the Book-box; and our publications will be on sale. Lectures start about 8.30, and, if time permits, are followed by questions. The Library building closes at 10 pm sharp.

Members are welcome to bring a guest, but guests who wish to attend more than one lecture should be asked to join the Society.

Tues. Nov. 7. The Earliest Cretans – Prof. J D Evans, MA, PhD FBA FSA.

And, on Wed. Dec. 13, the HADAS Christmas party, which this year will – have a musical flavour.

We will dine in the Iolanthe Hall at the home of the late Sir William Gilbert, and will be entertained with excerpts from Gilbert and Sullivan operas. An application form for this event is enclosed. Please return it as quickly as possible, because Dorothy Newbury must confirm our booking in a matter of days.

.. are.. November 4th/5th and November 11th/12th.

This is when two West Heath processing weekends the Teahouse, Northway, Hampstead Garden Suburb.
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It is hoped that as many members as possible will help at these weekends, when a systematic study of finds from the dig will be undertaken. This will include: density counts, analyses of blades, flakes and debitarge; location of tool types {i.e. of, industry areas as opposed to chipping floors); and another attempt to re-assemble a flint nodule. Current projects will be continued – notably post-hole, core and burnt flint studies. The results are urgently needed for the interim report, so do come and lend a hand.

New members – or those who have difficulty in finding their way to the Teahouse, never a very accessible place – can get a map of the area and details of transport facilities – from our Hon. Secretary.

Continuing her series on archives for local historians, JOANNA CORDEN, Archivist to the Borough of Barnet, describes further sources of information outside the Borough.

IV. External Sources: Pt. 2: House of Lords Record Office

This Office contains not only the records of both Houses of Parliament, but also, in ever-increasing numbers, the many petitions and documents presented to it. There are some earlier records, but mainly the material dates from the 16th c. There is a considerable amount of local information to be obtained from these records, which include, for example, the Protestation return (1641-2) – a record of those males of 18 years and over who at the behest of Parliament, signed an undertaking to support the rights of Parliament.

More recent information for this area is connected with the development of the Railways and turnpikes. The records of these enterprises are usually concerned with their legal function, the business records of the companies formed and maps and plans of various kinds. All such undertakings required the assent of Parliament; a great deal of local information can be found in the unpublished petitions and minutes of evidence placed before the parliamentary committees on Bills supporting the enterprises. This includes plans of the proposed works with books of reference giving details of owners and occupiers of lands likely to be affected, and subscription lists and contracts giving details of sources of capital. If permission was granted, it was in the form of an Act setting up a railway or canal company, or a turnpike trust. Private and public Acts are therefore a prime source of information.

There are many relevant parliamentary papers dealing with these enterprises, so that it is impossible to give more than a general indication that they exist. Of particular importance are the Select Committees on railways between 1839-44, the Annual Railway Returns (from 1841, under different titles), giving details of stock, capital and traffic, and the Report of the Royal Commission on Rai1ways, 1861.

For turnpikes there are the Select Committee report of 1836, Annual Returns (1836-1883) of income and expenditure, and roads disinturnpiked, 1871-8.

All these records should be used in conjunction with those in the Public Record Office, the chief collection there being the records of the Former Railway Department of the Board of Trade, now under the Ministry of Transport records. Here the most important items are the correspondence and papers for the years 1840-1919, the departmental minute books 1844-1857 and letter books 1840-1855. For turnpikes there are nineteen volumes of correspondence and papers 1872-92 at the PRO.
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These cover the transfer of turnpike roads and bridges to highway board; and the ending of trusts or the renewal of their powers. Searchers for information in this field should first consult Sources for the History of Railways at the PRO, by D Wardle, in Journal of Transport History, ii (1955-6).

The most fruitful sources of information at the House of Lords Record Office are the official series of parliamentary papers or Blue Books, These comprise thousands of volumes, covering such subjects as Poor Law, Education, Industry, etc. Here again a great deal of information relevant to our own area can be dug out, but prospective searchers are recommended to consult, first, Local History from Blue Books: A Select List of the Sessional Papers of the House of Commons, by W R Powell (Historical Assoc. pamphlet, 1962), and then the indexes in the House of Lords Record Office.

Town Hall. Dig, adjoining The Grove, NW4. The trial dig in the area behind the Town Hall has now finished, and the four trenches which were opened have been back-filled.

Recording in Hendon St. Mary’s churchyard. This continues and volunteers will be welcome. Recording takes place on Sunday afternoons from 2.30 pm. Please ring Jeremy Clynes and let him know if you intend to come along.

Recording, St. James the Great, Friern Barnet. This project has got off to a good start, and Ann Trewick, who is master-minding it has a keen team of about a dozen helpers. The churchyard has been divided into 15 areas, and recorders work in their own time. Further volunteers I will be very welcome, as the more people we have the quicker we shall finish. If you would like to take part, please ring Ann Trewick and let her know.

By Joan and Andrew Pares.

The September outing was an outstanding one from any point of view. We entered Cotswold country at Northleach, where we stopped to visit the 15th c. church with its unique collection of wool merchants’ brasses. Our sympathy went out to Margaret Bicknell, who had borne her wool-stapler husband six boys and seven girls!

Our main objective was Cotswold Farm Park and its collection of rare breeds of British farm animals. There were Longhorn and White Park cattle, Soay Orkrey and St. Kilda sheep, British Lop, Tamworth and Gloucester Old Spot pigs, Shetland and Exmoor ponies, which once drew the chariots of our Celtic ancestors, the Shire horse which modelled for a recent issue of postage stamps, and the last four oxen in Britain trained for ploughing.

In the afternoon we visited Hailes Abbey, now not much more than a shell, but full of history, and with an interesting little museum. The main feature was a collection of six very beautiful Early English bosses: from the Chapter House, such as normally one sees only up on high with a craned neck.

Finally, at Stow-on-the-Wold there was just time to see another wool church. A plaque on the wall brought home forcibly the ravages of inflation over the centuries; it recorded a charitable bequest by a certain Thomas Selwyn who gave “a rent charge of £1 a year on his houses in Stow to be redistributed in bread.”

Our charming shepherdess, Liz Holliday, guided her flock throughout the day with gentle firmness over a well-planned scenic route along Fosse Way, through Bourton-on-the-Water and the Slaughters, past many a stately manor house in restful “oolitic” limestone, with the added attraction of driving alongside fields of blazing stubble.. We were a little anxious at one point when, thwarted by the lord of the manor of Stanway, she led us past the splendid 16th c. gatehouse into the churchyard, and through the undergrowth at the side, looking for an illicit means of entry into his famous tithe barn.
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The staff work for the trip was impeccable: a punctual start at 9 am from the Quadrant, where we were issued with a well-produced programme of our itinerary; then delicious home-made cakes and coffee for elevenses at “Country Friends” in the market place at Northleach. There were excellent picnic facilities at the Farm, and a substantial cream-tea was served at Deborah’s Kitchen in Stow.

It was our driver Alan’s last trip for Finchley Coaches. He has chauffeured many a HADAS trip with dexterity and obligingness. Ho was fittingly bowed-out with a gracious vote of thanks by Joan Gaynair- Phillips.

ELEMENTARY SURVEYING for INDUSTRIAL ARCHAEOLOGISTS – Hugh Bodey and Michael Hallas (Shire, £1.25)

To quote the authors, “we have set out to describe the basic methods of surveying using short cuts where possible.” In 58 pages of text they ~ have succeeded in this aim. Starting with surveying the land, they progress through surveying a building and surveying machinery to the use of film and tape to supplement the survey proper, with a final section on completing the report.

As one whose Industrial Archaeology activities take place in built-up areas where buildings can be related back to the OS 25 in. plans, I would have liked more on surveying-machinery and less on surveying the land. In fact, with 3 pages on surveying machinery, compared with 20 pages on buildings and 24 on land, the book is rather unbalanced. However, those who are interested in surveying quarries or other open workings will be more concerned with land surveys. This section will certainly be of interest and use to all archaeologists – not only to those of industrial persuasion.

A very proper and repeated caution is given on the need for patience and accuracy, with particular stress on measuring diagonals as the way to keep a check on the measurements actually required. Considering some of the surveys with which I have been associated and the mistakes which we have made, it is to be hoped that many industrial archaeologists (and other amateur surveyors) will read this book and learn from it. At £1.25 it is a bargain. WF




POTTERY ON ROMAN BRITAIN (revised edition) – Vivien G Swan

Many members may already know the Shire publication “Pottery in Roman Britain”, first published in 1975. Now it has gone into a revised edition, and Shire have produced three other pottery titles.

The new booklets are in the same format as the Roman one They are illustrated with many drawings and a few plates. Prehistoric Pottery has 25 pages of illustration, most of them carrying drawings of between 6-l0 different pots; Anglo-Saxon Pottery has 3l pottery figures, and Medieval Pottery goes up to Fig. 29, sometimes with as many as 20 pots in each figure.
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Prehistoric Pottery runs from Early Neolithic, c. 4000 BC to the Roman Conquest; Anglo-Saxon from c. Ab 400-850; Medieval from AD 850-1500 (confirming the present tendency to sub-divide the Medieval period of earlier historians – which ran from AD 410-1485 into two, Saxon and Medieval proper).

These booklets are a good buy. It is difficult to find, and certainly not at so reasonable a price – a synthesised corpus of illustrated pottery for any of these periods. There are two possible criticisms: first, the text which precedes the figures is almost too simplified – but doubtless that is because Shire is aiming at the widest possible audience; secondly, in places the booklets rely almost entirely on differences in pottery form and decoration, and provide little information about fabric. This is a serious omission for anyone who wishes to work from them on pottery identification. To give just one example: when captioning a drawing of an early Neolithic pot, it is surely unnecessary to say “bag-shaped pot with horizontal lugs” when the picture show precisely that. A caption which described the fabric would be more helpful.

, , Archaeology of Dark Ages, HGS Institute (Tues. from Oct. 1.0, 8-9.30 pm), lecturer Miss M. Skalla. Places still available, and John Enderby will be glad to hear from any HADAS member who would like to join.

Certificate in Archaeology, Year 2, Barnet College. This class is on Wednesday evenings, not Mondays as advertised; lecturer Susan Geddes.

Introducing Archaeology, HADAS’s own course at Hendon, College, Flower Lane, Mill Hill, starts Oct. 2. Members may still sign on at the opening lecture, 7.30 pm.

Weekend Conference on Roman Tiles and Bricks, Apr. 20-22 1979, Leicester Polytechnic – and – Saturday School on Recording Churchyards, Nov. ll. Northampton University. Further details of both from Brigid Grafton Green.

Lecture on Two Million Years of Man, Geological Museum, South Ken, by C B Stringer PhD, Fri. Oct 20 6.30 pm. Admission free.

The Society will mount two exhibitions this autumn, and members who live near may like to drop in to see them.

One is at the Crest Gallery, Totteridge Lane, Sept. 29-0ct. l4. Barnet Borough Arts Council has invited us to show a panel of photos of the recording of the Dissenters Burial Ground at Totteridge, and a glass case of the West Heath finds. The exhibition is open on Tues. and Weds. 2.00-5.30 pm; Fris. 11-1 and 2-5.30; Sats. 11-1 & 2-4 pm. There will be a special Open Evening on Sat. Oct 7 at 8 pm; tickets 25p. at the door.

From Oct. 31-Jan. 30 1979 Barnet Museum, Wood St Barnet, has kindly invited us to put on a display of Industrial Archaeology in the Borough. Under the title “Here Today, Gone Tomorrow” we hope to show some of the research which has been or is still being done by HADAS members, including transport ,(rail, tram, bus, trolley bus) arranged by Bill Firth; farm byegones (Daphne Lorimer); history of field drainage and recording of farm buildings (Brigid Grafton Green); history of Friern Hospital. (David Tessler); clay tobacco pipes (Jeremy Clynes); bottles (Alec Jeakins). The Museum is open Tues. Thurs. 2.30-4.30 pm; Sats. 10-12.30, 2.30-4.30 pm.


By | Volume 2 : 1975 - 1979 | No Comments


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Although summer is – we hope – not yet gone, stray signs of autumnn already begin to show here and there. Shorter days will bring some compensations, however – such as a well-planned and varied HADAS lecture programme, starting early next month. Here is a full list for the autumn and winter -in case you have mislaid your programme card:
Tues. Oct. 3 – The excavation of a Tudor Brick Royal Palace at Bridewell – Derek Gadd
Tues. Nov. 7 – The Earliest Cretans – Prof. J. D. Evans
Tues. Jan. 2 – “I’ve come about the Drains” – the
Development of Roman Bath Systems – Tony Rook
Tues. Feb. 6 – Stone Age Farmers in Brittany – Dr. Barbara Bender
Tues Mar. 6 – The Archaeology of the second Industrial Revolution – Kenneth Hudson
Tues Apr. 3 – The Etruscans – Geoffrey Toms


-last of the current season – will be led by Elizabeth Holliday and will explore Cotswold country. It will visit Northleach, with its “wool” church and magnificent brasses; the Cotswold Farm Park, with rare and historic breeds of domestic animals; the ruins of a Cistercian Abbey; and a fine 14th c. tithe barn.

Like all HADAS outings, it is likely to be overbooked, so fill in the form which accompanies this Newsletter and post it as soon as possible to Elizabeth Holliday (please note, NOT to Dorothy Newbury this time).

West Heath digging will continue at West Heath on Wednesdays, Saturdays and Sundays from 10 am-5 pm(except Sat. Sept. 16). We propose to do as we did last year – that is, to go on digging until the weather begins to break, and the soil becomes so heavy that dry-sieving is difficult. Last year we did not have to close the site until early November- so let’s hope that this year, too, we shall get a good dry “back end.” All volunteers will be very welcome.

Town Hall Dig, Hendon. As the Newsletter goes to press the HADAS trial dig behind the Town Hall is starting. Details are as given in the last Newsletter, i.e. on as many September weekends as are necessary there will be digging from 2.30-5 pm (Sats) and 10 am-5 pm (Suns) – except Sat. Sept. 16, when there will be no digging because of an outing. At this stage it is impossible to tell how long the dig will last, so if you intend to join it, please check first with Jeremy Clynes that digging is still continuing.
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HADAS member PERCY REBOUL is working on a project which involves tape-recording the memories of some of our elder citizens. He hopes to provide the Newsletter with occasional transcripts, of which this is the first.

It seems to me that, in a local history context, one of the more encouraging features of our times is the interest being shown in the lives and memories of ordinary people. I have often suspected that, given a chance, a deep-sea diver might well prove to be more interesting to talk to than, say, a countess with Romanov connections. Unfortunately, both types are in rather short supply in Barnet, and I cannot prove my point. “But what I am hoping to prove, in a series of cassette-tape recordings, is that people in the Borough can be most interesting when they talk about their life and experience at work.

That statement needs substantial qualification; talking about work in 1978 can be boring. It is when you talk to older people about their work in the 1920s and ’30s that the whole thing takes on anew dimension and becomes interesting.

The first recording, of which this is an abridged and expurgated version, was with a carpenter. I do hope that members will let me know if they have contact with any elderly tradesman or craftsman who might be willing to be interviewed. I am looking in particular for a policeman, dustman, tram driver or fireman. It’s a bit traumatic for most people when they hear their voice for the first time on tape, but happily they blame it on the inadequacies of Japanese electronics. Other than this, it helps if they are not too deaf and their dentures are in good order!

My carpenter had lived and worked all his life in Whetstone – as he tells you himself:

“I was born at 6 am on September 9, 1904, at Russell House, High Road, Whetstone –near the Bull and Butcher -and went to school at St. John’s Whetstone. It seems that I started school in 1908, at the age of 4, because I have seen the beautiful copperplate handwl1iting in the early school registers. I left school in 1918, just before my 14th birthday.

My first job was in the clubhouse of the South Herts Golf Club, where I cleaned the knives and forks, washed up the glasses and during the week acted as a waiter at lunch time. My pay was 10s a week, plus meals for a 7-day week, but I made quite a bit in tips, which could bring it up to 30s a week, which was good pay.

My interest in carpentering started in a funny way. My father came from Needham Market in Suffolk and in 1919 he decided to take a holiday there to see his mother. I wanted to go with him, but to do so I lost my job at the golf club because they would not let me have the time off because of my lack of service. However, when I was at Needham I happened to look into a cupboard and there I saw a box of carpenter’s tools belonging to an uncle. I decided there and then that that was the job for me.

When I returned from the holiday, I joined the well-known Whetstone builder N C Wade. Harry Lynes was the foreman and he gave me a start on August 17, 1919. I was paid 4d an hour, about 16s for a 49 1/2 hour week. I learned the job working under old carpenters such ns Bill Legg and Charlie Vivian.

I bought my tools bit by bit. First week a hammer (2s 11d); second week a saw (lls); then I bought a rule for 2s 6d and a wooden jack plane which cost 15s. That was a lot of money, but today it would cost at least £8. The tools were bought from a man from Southgate called Chapman who used to bring a selection of tools onto the site and you paid him a shilling a week. He took a risk in my view, because many men moved quickly from site to site.
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When I started in 1919, a foot of 2 in x 1 in. softwood cost 2d. Hardwoods, which today would cost £1 a foot, then cost between 4d – 6d.

Whetstone was beginning to grow in the 1920s and speculative builders did much of the work. The work was of a good standard. 9 in brickwork rather than today’s cavity work and on roofing we used 4 in. x 2 in. timbers set at 14 in. centres. Today these things are prefabricated and delivered to the site. There were no power tools then, of course, everything was done by hand and it was hard work.

A working day started at 7.20 am with 1/2 hour for lunch at 12. Tea breaks were taken on the job and we finished at 5.30 pm on a weekday and 12 on a Saturday. We had no annual holiday and even worked on Good Friday. Easter Monday and Christmas Day were holidays, but without pay.

Many times, when working in town, I would pay my fare to get to town on1y to find that it was raining and there was no work (and that meant no pay) for the day.

When I worked for Empire Construction, we would build a pair of houses a week, working in parallel with the bricklayers, switching backwards and forwards at the various levels of construction.


I hadn’t been long married and tried to buy a house in Woodside Grove which Wades had built. It cost £650. The deposit was £50 and the mortgage rate was 6 1/2 which was high because my mortgage was arranged privately by Mr. Wade.

After 3 years, Mr. Wade went broke and I was sacked after working 12 years for him. This would be about 1930. I was on the dole. We got 6s a week for my wife and 20s for me – and I was trying to buy a house on a 6 1/2 mortgage. I suppose that in 3 years I did 18 months on and off. A job might last 3 weeks and every Friday, as they came round with the cards, you would think ‘Is it me to go this week?

If you were 6 months on the dole you went on the means test, where they looked into everything you owned. I got a letter telling me to go to a house in Finchley in which I remember there was a large table with old men and women sitting round it, talking and asking questions. It happens that before I got married I had bought a piano and when they asked me what furniture I had, I mentioned the piano. ‘Can’t you sell it?’ they said. I left the room and later was told that I could carry on drawing my 26s a week. There were hundreds of people in the same boat and I well remember thinking that there would never be any building again.

On looking back, one of the things that strikes me about working on the building was that, in spite of the hard times, there was always’ singing, whistling and plenty of joking. I remember really funny men, such as Tommy the Tinker, Bob Williams, whose father had been a tinker. It seems to me that people enjoyed work and took an interest in it, which they don’t today. A1though there was plenty of joking, people were good at their job and worked hard. If you were no good you got the sack.

AUTHOR’S NOTE – I have enjoyed going back to the old-style money and make no apology for not converting into decimal.
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The Hon. Treasurer reports that over 150 members have not yet paid their subscription for the current year, due on April 1.

Members who have not paid by the beginning of October will receive one reminding letter and then their names will be removed from the membership list.

To save unnecessary work and expense, outstanding subscriptions ~ should be sent now to the Treasurer: Jeremy Clynes. Subscription rates are:

Full membership – £2.00
Under-18 – £1.00
Over-60 – £1.00
Family Membership: – first member – £2
– additional members £1 each

Here are details of three local history courses, organised by Barnet College, which start next month.

On Mondays from Oct. 2 Antoinette Lee takes a course on the local history of Barnet itself, 7.30-9.30., At Barnet College.

Also on Mondays at the same time from Oct. 2 Mrs. M E Campbell lectures on the origins and development of Finchley at Stanhope Road Centre, Finchley (just north of Tally-ho).

Finally, on Thursdays, 7.30-9.30, starting Oct. 5, there is a Local History Workshop, run by Antoinette Lee, at East Barnet Junior High School. It will investigate the growth and development of New Barnet from its early days.

Fees for each course are £7.60; enrolment is at Barnet College on Sept. 12 (10 am-8 pm) or Sept. 13 (6 pm-8 pm).

JOANNA CORDEN, Archivist to the Borough of Barnet, continues her series on archives for local historians. This month, for the first time, she goes outside the Borough to describe sources of information

IV. External Sources: Pt. I: The Public Record Office The Public Record Office holds material created by central government which is nevertheless of local interest and importance. Its earliest major source of information is the Domesday Suryey (1086-7). This consists of two volumes, of which the first is the more detailed, but the second alone is of relevance to this area. Only Hendon (of all the districts which make up the present Borough of Barnet) appears as a separate entry.

The next major medieval source is the hundred rolls of the late 13th c, which contain the results of enquiries undertaken in the reign of Edward I by hundreds (that is, divisions of counties) into royal rights and prerogatives. (For anyone planning to work on the hundred rolls, the best introduction is still Helen Cam’s 1930 classic, ‘The Hundred and the Hundred Rolls.’ Also of importance are the lay subsidy rolls of 1290-i334. These were sometimes known as the tenths and fifteenths, because the contribution of townsmen was based on one-tenth of the current valuation of personal property, and that of country dwellers on one-fifteenth.
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Both hundred and lay subsidy rolls have defects. The hundred rolls do not include people who did not hold land (e.g. hired labourers, servants), and some individuals appear more than once; lay subsidy rolls may not cover all property owners or even all inhabitants, certain types of goods were exempt, and there was, moreover, considerable evasion. After 1334 the lay subsidies were levied on communities, not individuals, and are therefore useless.

Of greater use during the 14th c. therefore are the poll taxes, levied in 1377, 1379 and 1381, the first being the most useful since the tax levied was 4d per head for all inhabitants over 14 years of age. Clergy paid ls. The 1379 poll differed by being graded by rank, and the 1381 by being levied on all over 15.

There also occurs in this period the Inquisition of the Ninths (1341) which indicates the prosperity of benefices, and where and why income derived from tithes differed from the 1291 assessment made for the Taxation of Pope Nicholas IV. The Valor Ecclesiasticus (1535), produced on the eve of the break with Rome, is a more detailed and exact valuation of ecclesiastical benefices. It is calendared by diocese.

Other taxation records found in the PRO are the Tudor and Stuart subsidies first introduced in 1523. The first four taxes fell on the whole population, the rest (after 1527) on the wealthier classes only. Later they became stereotyped, so the earlier taxes are the most useful. The useful 17th c. taxes are hearth taxes, levied from 1662, of which those for 1664 probably contain most information. Copies of these are also found in the county record offices, as are copies of poll taxes for 1641, 1660, 1666 and 1677.

More recent records of importance are Tithe Apportionments and Maps. Under the Tithe Act of 1836 tithes in kind were finally commuted ~ by fixed rent charges apportioned on each field and plot. Surveys of each parish were carried out and the resulting records formed an apportionment: they consisted of a copy of the voluntary parochial agreement or, after 1838, the compulsory valuers’ award declaring the total rent charge; and a large scale map. Three copies of each were made, for deposit with the Tithe Commissioners (these are the copies now held by the PRO, and copies of some of them are held in LBB Local History. Collection), the Diocesan Registrar and the incumbent respectively. There are also Tithe files, kept with the Apportionments. They contain correspondence concerning the Apportionment and offer basic additional information.

There has been an official census every decade since 1801, apart from 1941, and these records are with the PRO. The returns held by the PRO for this area begin in 1841, although the original enumerators’ books for~ 1801, 1811 and 1821 for Hendon only are in the Local History Library. The information contained in these records varies for each census, as do boundaries of census districts, and there are therefore difficulties in comparing them.

A most important collection of PRO material is the records relating to the Poor Law, now filed under the Department of Health. The most useful class is probably the Poor Law Union’ Papers (1834-1900), consisting of correspondence (arranged by counties and unions) of the central government department with poor law unions and other local authorities. After 1871 these also contain information on health and general local government matters, although none exist after 1900. The correspondence of assistant Poor Law commissioners and inspectors is at the PRO; it is arranged under officers’ names, not under the areas or unions covered.
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Finally, I should perhaps mention that part of the PRO moved in October, 1977, to a new home at Ruskin Avenue, Kew. The records kept there come from modern departments of state, mainly 19th/20th c. For instance, the Tithe records and the Poor Law records will both be found at Kew.

Medieval records, state papers before 1782, modern legal record~~ and census returns l841-7l are kept at Chancery Lane (census returns, in fact, in a special office in Portugal Street, but when telephoning to make an appointment to see them, you ring the main Chancery Lane number – 4050741 – and the switchboard connects you with Portugal St.

Since we last welcomed new members in the May Newsletter the following have joined the Society:

Mrs. Adler, Edgware; Mary Allaway, High gate; John Angus, Garden Suburb; Cecily Ashcroft and Geoffrey and Max Bilson, all Hampstead; Ruth Biziou, Finchley; Wendy Chitty, Hendon; Miss S. David, West Hampstead; Mr & Mrs Day, Stanmore; John de Morpurgo, Hampstead; Irene Dessartis, Cricklewood; Denys Franzini, Earls Court; Jo Gilbert, Finchley; Sheila Harragan, Hampstead; Mrs. Hood, Garden Suburb; Simon Ivens, Golders Green; Helen Jacobs, Edgware; Mrs. Jampel, Golders Green; Iris Jones, Barnet; Victor Jones, Garden Suburb; Janet Landau, Hampstead; Sandra Lea, Finchley; Charmian Lewis, Barnet; Deborah O’Connor, New Southgate; Ronald Pittkin, Leyton; Michelle Rudolf, Golders Green; Caroline Sampson, Garden Suburb; Mrs Serre, Barnet; Miss Sheldon, Garden Suburb; Yolande Steger, Finchley; E P Williams, N10; Fred Wright, Camden Town.

May we welcome them all and hope very much that they will enjoy their membership and will join us in our many activities.

News comes this week from the University of Leicester of a full winter programme of residential weekend courses at their adult education centre at Knuston Hall, near Irchester (a quick run from LBB up either the Ml or the Al).

Courses cost an average of £14 a weekend and the tutors are experts in their own fields. Subjects covered include Wood for Archaeologists, Drawing for Archaeologists, Air Photographs and their Interpretation, the Art and Archaeology of SE Asia, Glass for Archaeologists and the English Castle.

Statistics for Archaeologists starts the series at tbe end of September; the others follow, at roughly one a month, till The English Castle early in May. Members can get further details from Brigid Grafton Green.

Leicester also sponsors a course which has become something of an archaeological classic – Chris Taylor’s Field Archaeology and the Landscape. This is a week’s residential course at Knuston, Apr. 6-12, 1979, mainly practical – recording, surveying etc. Fee £42.
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A report on the August outing by VALERIE and PETER HARMES.

Our first stop on this trip, planned and entertainingly led by John Enderby into the very English county of Suffolk, was at Saxtead Green Mill, a magnificent example of a post-mill. We had been warned that recent storms had damaged two of the sails, so it was a surprise and pleasure to find them repaired – full marks to the Department of the Environment for that prompt action.

Originally built in the 18th c. and rebuilt in 1854, the mill presents a fascinating study in construction, pivotting around a huge central post to ensure that the sails would always derive maximum benefit from the wind.

The climb up the narrow winding staircase inside proved well worthwhile, with many items of old-time milling on display in the low-roofed timbered rooms. Rewarding, too, was the equally perilous haul up the steep, close-stepped outside staircase, which led many an ashen-faced HADAS enthusiast to the lofty sail-room.

Next the coach nosed its way through the crooked streets of Framlingham to the Castle – once the seat of the Dukes of Norfolk. The first record of the site suggests that it was given by Henry I to Roger Bigod in 1100 or 1101. He constructed the first buildings – almost certainly a motte with an outer bailey, protected on three sides by a palisade and on the west by an artificial mere. About 1190 Roger – the second earl, grandson of the first Roger – built a strong castle with stone walls and towers. In 1513 Thomas, Duke of Norfolk – who had re-gained the estate on a pardon from Henry VII – modernised the Castle with copious use of brick. In 1635, it was so1d to Sir Robert Hitcham who bequeathed it to Pembroke College, Cambridge, on the understanding that it would be pulled down and a poorhouse built. The outer walls were left standing, but the internal buildings were gradually demolished. The poorhouse went out of use in 1837.

Today what is left of the Castle is in the hands of the DoE – the walls, with their 13 towers and a fine deep moat outside, the remains of the first stone hall and chapel, built c. 1150, the great hall, the shell of the poorhouse and some superb ornamental Tudor brick chimneys on the ramparts.

Another “perk” at Framlingham was a visit to the elegant, perpendicular-style parish church with its beautifully carved Howard tombs. The little, mainly Georgian town also offered much to delight the eye, so that to spare time for lunch was something of a luxury and departure came all too quickly.

By mid-afternoon we had reached Hevingham Hall. Built in an age inspired elegance, this fine neo-classical house presented a striking contrast to the quieter, more sombre beauty of Framlingham Castle. The curator, Mr. Shepherd, told us that the house had been built in 1780 by Sir Robert Taylor in the Palladian style for the Vanneck family. Then the architect was changed and James Wyatt became responsible for the interior design.

The print-room – formerly the small dining room – was unusual with its main decoration 18th c. prints, .. now very discoloured, pasted on the walls. Impressive were the library, with its Corinthian columns at one end, and the saloon, with a barrel-shaped ceiling which declines at either end in gentle curves to the walls.

Outside the house was fresh delight, in the beautiful ornamented Gardens, designed – by Capability Brown. By the walled rose garden, originally intended for fruit and vegetables, there is an interesting example of a “crinkle-crankle” – or serpentine wall.
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We enjoyed tea in a converted coach house, and began the long ride home with both stomachs and spirits well replete and with a glow of gratitude to John Enderby for a day into which much thought and loving planning had gone.

They say things go in threes – and it seems true of HADAS’s financial fortunes this summer. We have just heard that we’ve gained our third financial grant in 4 months.

In May Lloyds Bank granted us £100 towards surveying equipment, and as a result the Society now proudly possesses its own brand-new level, tripod and stave. In July the Mrs. Smith Trust gave us a grant of £100 towards the cost of publishing the West Heath report. Now the GLC’s Department of Architecture and Civic Design has provided us with a grant of £100 for archaeological laboratory work – in fact, for obtaining a carbon-dating on the charcoal taken from the possible Mesolithic hearth at West Heath.

We are deeply grateful to the GLC for their help – which we hope may provide an absolute date for early occupation of one of their own most famous properties – Hampstead Heath.

Methodism in Hendon will celebrate its 150th anniversary this month, when on Sep 16/17 the Methodist Church in the Burroughs will have a weekend of special services and other events.

In the two weeks leading up to the celebrations, an exhibition of documents and photographs from the Church’s Muniment Box will be mounted at Hendon Library. On Sept. 16/17 this display will move to a building with which HADAS has happy connections – the Henry Burden Hall, Egerton Gardens, named after the man who first brought Methodism to Hendon.

Henry Burden (1793-1889) came to the district in 1820 as head gardener to the Vicar of Hendon St. Mary’s – the notorious Theodore Williams. Burden lived in Brent Street and his first Methodist meetings were held in cottages or in the open air by the old Burroughs Pond.

The first place of worship was opened in 1828, on ground between the Burroughs and Brent Street. In 1891 a church was built in the Burroughs. The earlier chapel beside Burden’s cottage was demolished; on the site there is now a Hindu temple. Finally in 1937 the present Church was built on the site of the 1891 building.

By Christine Arnott.

This frivolous headline is t draw your attention to a suggestion from the fund-raising Committee We hope to run another Minimart next spring. Usually we appeal for contributions near the chosen date, but it would help greatly if contributions started arriving earlier and were spread over a longer period. We therefore suggest that members ring either Dorothy Newbury or Christine Arnott from now on if they have clothing, bric-a-brac, books etc to be collected.

About that headline …a Minimart sideline has been to provide a notice board for advertising articles for sale or wanted. Successful ads meant a small donation to the funds. Recently a member wished audibly that the Minimart was here, as she badly wanted a skeleton. Evan without a Minimart, HADAS was not defeated. Word went round and lo a skeleton will soon be provided!


By | Volume 2 : 1975 - 1979 | No Comments


Page 1


This Newsletter must start with congratulations and commiseration: the first for those members who have just heard that they have passed their exams in the Diploma in Archaeology; the second for the few who have failed.

Particularly, all honour to three members who have now completed the 4-year Diploma course -Janette Babalis, one of our students at the West Heath training course this summer, who passed her two 4th year papers with Credit and Merit respectively; Helen Gordon, a member of the Research Committee, who passed the two Roman Britain exams with a Credit and a Distinction; and Anne Thompson, long a member of HADAS, who got a Credit and a Pass.

The remaining results – as far as we know them – are:

Elizabeth Aldridge (2nd Yr. Diploma with Merit)

Denys Franzini (1st Yr. Dip. with Credit)

Geoffrey Gammon (1st Yr. Dip. with Credit)

Alexis Hickman (1st Yr. Pass)

Carol Johnson (2nd Yr. Dip. Fail)

Dave King (3rd Yr. Dip. Pass)

Robert Kruszynski (2nd Yr. Dip. with Merit)

Shirley Korn (3rd.Yr. Dip. Pass)

Teresa Macdonald (2nd Yr. Dip. Fail)

Sally Spiller (1st Yr. Dip. with Merit; 2nd Yr. Dip. Pass)

Anne Watson (2nd Yr. Dip. Pass)

Dave King -who kindly chased up the above results for the Newsletter tells us that they are by no means exhaustive. He has not been able to get details from several members who are away; and the results of the Certificate in Field Archaeology are not yet published.

No sooner does one academic year end than plans for the next begin. In the June Newsletter we gave details of classes next winter at Hampstead Garden Suburb Institute. Here is news of other local classes:

Archaeology of Celtic Roman and Saxon Britain. Lecturer Tom Blagg. Mons. starting Sept. 1 7.30 pm, Camden Inst, Haverstock branch. Fee £7.50

Archaeology and the Roman Empire. Margaret Roxan. Thurs. starting Sept.28, 8pm. Golders Green Library. £8

The Bible Lands – the origins of civilisation. Miss R L Harris. Thurs. starting Sept. 28, 8pm. Edgware Library. £9.

Celtic Art and Architecture in Britain 500 BC-1000 AD. Mrs. E S Eames. Thurs. starting Sept. 2, 1.30 pm. Glebe Hall, Glebe Rd, Stanmore. £8.75

An Architectural Historian in Hertfordshire. F H Bradbeer, Mons, starting Sept. 25, 8 pm. Queen Elizabeths Girls School, Barnet. £8. The same series will be given on Tues. from Sept. 19 at 7.45 pm at Copland Senior High School, Cecil Av, Wembley.
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The Architectural Heritage of the Greater English Church. R. M. Ridlington. Thurs. starting Sept. 2, 7.30 pm. Minchenden Lower Sohool, Fox Lane, Palmers Green, N13. £8.

Social History of England & Golders Green in 20th c. P W Kingsford. Tues, starting Sept 26, 1.30 pm, 103 Hampstead Way, NW11. £8.

Social History of London. Mrs. G C Clifton. Weds. from Sept. 27, 9.45am Henry Burden Hall, Egerton Gardens. NW4. £9.

Most of the above courses are organised by the local WEA branch; HADAS members who would like further details can get the name and phone number of the relevant WEA secretary from Brigid Grafton Green. The list docs not include continuing tutorial classes, many now in their second or third years; they usually do not accept new members.

We mentioned in the June Newsletter details of Diploma courses at HGS Institute. There are no other Diploma courses in the Borough of Barnet; there are, however, central courses for each of the 4 years of the Diploma – usually held either at the Institute of Archaeology; the Extra-mural Centre, Tavistock Square, or the Mary Ward Settlement, Tavistock Place. Details of these can be obtained from the Dept. of Extra-mural Studies, 26 Russell Sq, WC1.

The Department will also provide details of courses for the 3-year Certificate in Field Archaeology. A 2nd year course (The Romano-British period in SE England) is being held at Barnet College in Wood Street on Mons. at 7.30 pm, starting Sept. 18, lecturer E C Hill. This year our Borough has no first year course; the nearest venue for that is the City Lit, where Paul Craddock (incidentally, a HADAS member) is taking The Prehistory of SE England on Thursdays, starting Sept. 21.

Last year Hendon College of Further Education, in Flower Lane, Mill Hill, invited HADAS to arrange and give a course of 23 lectures under, the title Beginning Archaeology. This was a bit of an experiment, both for the College and for us. The lectures were given by 14 members, some of whom provided two or three, others just one. Seventeen students signed on at the start, and 14 stayed the full course – which is said to be a successful statistic. That the College was happy, as well as the students, is suggested by the fact that we have been asked to devise a further course for this coming winter.

This will have the general title of Introducing Archaeology, and will be suitable as a continuation course for those students (the majority) who intimated that they would like to do a second year, as well as for new students just joining. Again, the lectures will be given this year by a number of HADAS members (most of them Diploma holders) and the course will offer a simple general background to archaeology from Palaeolithic to Roman times.

HADAS members who are fairly new to archaeology, and would like to add to their background knowledge, might well find this course of interest. It will take place on Tuesday evenings, starting Oct. 3, from 7.30-9.30. Anyone who is interested in enrolling should get in touch with our Hon. Secretary for further details, – including a list of the lectures and a reading list.
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John Enderby will lead the August outing to the lovely central plateau of Suffolk on Sat. Aug. 12. Details and application form are enclosed – please apply at once if you would like to take part. Among the places of historic interest to be visited (all in the care of the DoE) are Saxtead Mill (a fine example of an 18th c. post-mill), Framlingham Castle, 12th c. home of the Dukes of Norfolk, and Heveninghal11 Hall. This last is one of the finest Georgian mansions in England, with rooms of outstanding quality designed by James Wyatt and a 50O-acre park and lake laid out by Capability Brown.

SAT. SEPT. 16 will be the final outing of this summer, to the Cotswolds. Further details in the September Newsletter.

As announced in the last Newsletter, digging will start behind the Town Hall, The Burroughs, Hendon, on Sat. Aug. 26 at 10 am and will continue for the three days of Summer Bank Holiday. This will be a short exploratory dig, directed by Ted Sammes, to assess the archaeological potential of the area prior to a proposed development by Barnet Borough Council.

On the following weekends of September digging will be from 2.30-5 pm on Saturdays and 10 am-5 pm on Sundays. How long the dig will last cannot be estimated at this stage, but non-regular diggers are advised to contact Jeremy Clynes before coming along, in order to get the latest information. Access to the site is through the entrance to The Grove. Walk down the avenue of lime trees, turning left at the bottom. The site is at the far and of the car park, between it and The Grove.

This will continue on Sunday afternoons, from 2.30 pm, until the start of the Town Hall dig on Aug. 26. It will resume when that dig is over. Again, ring Jeremy Clynes and let him know before you come along.

A different slant on work at West Heath, by our “resident botanist,” Dr. Joyce E. Roberts.

What an absurd idea to make black white; but at West Heath “cleaning” means removing the sand grains adhering to the charcoal which has been taken out of the “star” find of last autumn: the hearth. In fact the charcoal is blacker at the end than at the beginning! Once cleaned, it will be used for a c14 estimation, hopefully giving us a date for the site.

The charcoal came to me in metal foil packets, labelled according to the area of hearth from which it had been dug. It was important before starting to close the windows, keeping away any draughts which might bring carbon contamination, such as smoke or modern dust; fortunately I do not myself smoke.

I tended to open first the packets which seemed to contain large lumps. I withdrew one of the larger piece of charcoal with forceps {the largest was about l 1/2 cms long) and closed the packet while I scraped the piece all round with a sharp scalpel. This removed tree roots and sand. Then it was brushed all over with a camel-hair brush to remove further sand and the loose charcoal; all the time it was drying out, so the sand came away more easily at the end.
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Many of the pieces were tiny, though naturally one tended to ohoose the biggest. In shape many were flat and thin; some curved pieces were smooth inside and rough and uneven on the outside, suggesting they may be burnt bark. Some lumps were gritty and firm; others fragmented because they were too soft to scrape, so that it was a fiddling job. While I was scraping I looked for any indication of the kind of tree from which the pieces had been derived. Any which appeared to be different from the most common type of charcoal were examined further under a low power dissecting microscope; if a piece was almost certainly not oak (the commonest form) it was saved for future identification, since this may provide important information as to the nature of the forest ” in which the Neolithic men lived.

Each piece, as it was cleaned, was placed in a clean foil envelope until at least 15 grms. had been cleaned. The charcoal was weighed on a Victorian letter balance. Then the foil packet was closed and labelled.: It takes at least two hours to clean 15 grms, longer if the pieces are small. Eventually 105 grms, in 7 packets of at least 15 grms. each, were given to Desmond Collins to be taken to Cambridge for dating.

When they excavated the hearth, Laurie Gevell and Margot Maher recovered about 250 grms of charcoal in all. Some pieces are parts of twigs; in two instances the ends are smooth at an angle to the axis, as if cut on the slant before being thrown onto the fire. Is it too much to believe that somewhere among the West Heath finds we may have the very flint tool which cut them?

DIGGING will continue at West Heath during AUGUST and SEPTEMBER, on Wednesdays, Saturdays and Sundays, except for Aug. 12 and Sept. 16, both Saturdays, when there are HADAS outings. Work will be from 10 am to 5 pm, and all diggers will be most welcome, there is still much to be completed before the season ends.

One of the “growth” hobbies of the 1970s is family history. As evidence of this, witness the increasing number of family history societies at regional, county and even district level.

The Federation of Family History Societies was founded in 1974 to encourage the setting up of local societies, to co-ordinate their activities and to provide a clearing house for information about family history and genealogy. Today there are close on 50 regional societies and an additional 30 groups with similar aims, including “one-name” societies whose members research a single surname (figures given in the current issue of Local Historian, vol. 13 }No. 2, p.l00). The largest regional group is Birmingham and Midland {over 1000 members). The Federation publishes a twice-yearly Family News and Digest at 75p per issue, inc. postage (obtainable from Mrs. Ann Chiswell, 96 Beaumont’ St, Milehouse, Plymouth, PL2 3AQ). We mentioned as a stop-press item in the last Newsletter that family history is rapidly creeping up on us in our area. The North London branch of the Family History Society was holding its inaugural meeting on July 17 at Enfield. Four days later the Central Middlesex branch held its first meet1ng at Brent Town Hall, Wembley. We who live in the London Borough of Barnet therefore have new family history societies to right and left of us. There may well be HADAS members interested in genealogical studies who will like to participate in the activities of either our western neighbours (apply for information, enclosing an sae, to D E Williams, 17 Northwick Ave, Kenton) or our eastern ones (Hon. Sec. Miss G C Watson, 38 Churston Gdns, New Southgate, Nl1 2NL.
Page 5


Two books recently published by the Stationery Office may- be of interest to members.

2000 Years of Brentford is a London Museum archaeological report by an old friend of HADAS, Roy Canham, who was until he left London a few years ago the Field Officer to the Museum. The report covers fieldwork in the London region, excavations at Brentford and historical and geological background. Finds are dealt with in detail, from Neolithic; flints to post-medieval pottery.

Early Man in West Middlesex is by our Director at West Heath, Desmond Collins. It describes the prehistoric finds made in the gravel workings at Yiewsley, mainly between 1885-1935, said to be “one of the richest Palaeolithic sites in Europe.”

It is suggested that members who are interested in buying either of these books might ring our Hon. Secretary, so that we can send in a collective order.


Orkney claims to be the richest archaeological area in Britain, with three recorded places of antiquarian interest to every square mile. That makes a total of 1129 sites, or one site for each 16 inhabitants. These are just the recorded sites. Even during HADAS’s brief visit (Ju1y 8-15) we saw a number of sites which had only just come to light.

We must admit things didn’t begin too well. Even from Scrabster pier the sea looked churlish. Two hours later, when the Old Man of Hoy loomed up through the mist, it was for many a very welcome sight – a promised of dry land soon to come. Despite this, there were no absentees at supper that night in the Kirkwall School Hostel, nor at 8.50 next morning when we set off for a pipe-opening 35O-ft. climb up Wideford Hill to visit our first chambered cairn.

These stone-built Orkney neolithic tombs fall into two main types. Both have central chambers, reached by low passages, often about 6m. long. One type, known as the Maes Howe group after its most famous example has a number of small cells opening off the main chamber. The cairn on Wideford Hill is of this type.

The second type is characterised by the division of the central chamber by pairs of upright stone slabs into a number of compartments or “sta11s.” Of the cairns we visited, Blackhammer, Knowe of Yarso , Midhowe and Taversoe Tuick, all on the island of Rousay, are examples of the stalled cairn, but within these categories there are many variations. Taversoe Tuick, for example, is two-storied – surely a neat piece of one-upmanship – while Unstan chambered tomb on Mainland perhaps represents a transitional phase: essentially a stalled tomb, it also has a single small side cell. Although small, Unstan has yielded the most important pottery assemblage, dated to the mid-4th millenium BC, and has given the name of Unstan ware to pottery of this type found on other Orkney sites.
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The ease with which the local stone can be split into slabs or flags suitable for dry-stone architecture has helped Orkney builders for more than 5000 years, right up to the present era of breeze blocks and corrugated iron. Nevertheless, the design and craftsmanship of Maes Howe is awe-inspiring. Anna and Graham Ritchie, in their newly published guide to the Ancient Monuments of Orkney, call it “one of the greatest architectural achievements of the prehistoric peoples of Scotland.”

Maes Howe was excavated by J. Farrer in 1861, but he was not the first to break into the chamber. 700 years earlier Vikings recorded their presence there by scratching messages on the wall. Some of these refer to searches for treasure. One is about a girl called Ingeborg. Runic inscriptions cannot be read by many people, but we know that this one refers to the lady’s attractions. Daphne Lorimer told us that a Scandinavian historian had confirmed this but after laughing heartily, had refused to provide a literal translation.

Our visits to a number of Orkney’s 100-odd brochs enabled us to study Iron Age architecture of a type found only in the Scottish highlands and islands. These circular defensive dry stone towers had stairways and galleries built into the thickness of their massive outer walls. Two of the best-preserved brochs visited. Midhowe and Gurness, also have formidable surrounding ramparts and ditches. Despite the number of brochs excavated, many problems remain unsolved about their design and use, partly because all have been substantially robbed to provide stone for later buildings around them and even within their walls, which make interpretation of the remains more difficult. We therefore were delighted to have the privilege of being shown over a recently excavated broch by John Hedges of the North of Scotland Archaeological Unit, who believes that his forthcoming report will answer some outstanding questions, particularly regarding the plan of ground level living accommodation.

At a farm near Stromness John Hedges discovered that the farmer proposed to remove “a little mound” about 2m. high. Simply recorded as a “cairn,” it was not scheduled or otherwise protected. With only a few days before demolition, a rescue dig with mechanical equipment was organised. Only after a considerable trench had been cut was it realised that the digger was going through the walls of a broch which had been robbed down to the level of “a little mound.”

When the importance of the site became clear, demolition was postponed – it will, however, be destroyed any day now – and arrangements were hurriedly put in hand for a major excavation. Thirty inexperienced volunteers and schoolchildren were mobilised to empty the centre of the broch to obtain the floor plan. 15 tons of rubble were removed. At one stage activities had to be curtailed when the volume of work became too much for the few experienced supervisors available.

The work revealed concentric rings of living accommodation on the floor of the broch. In the centre was a large D~shaped hearth with a stone curb. Outside this, marked by vertical stone slabs, was a surrounding “service area” containing, postholes. Beyond this again was a ring of outer compartments. A dirty unpaved area to the left of the entrance door could have provided emergency shelter for animals: to the right of the entrance, an area of neat paving undoubtedly indicated the “lounge area.”
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The excavation of “Bu broch” (as John Hedges has christened his discovery) should also enable a date to be put on the mysterious Orkney “earth houses” – small subterranean chambers, whose purpose is still unknown. One of these, built into the wall of the broch, contained dateable material. Another day John Hedges took us to see a Bronze Age “kitchen,” next to one of Orkney’s 250 “burnt mounds.” Until now, he explained, people had dug into these hitherto puzzling mounds, but had not searched for nearby sources of the burnt material. A little distance away he showed us, too, a fine chambered cairn, initially excavated by a local farmer, and dramatically poised in an amphitheatre above the cliffs. He also provided an exhibition of Unstan ware pottery.

The day we visited the Brough of Birsay to see the remains of Orkney’s first cathedral, the Norse longhouses and the palace of Earl Thorfinn, we again had the most authoritative guide possible – Chris Morris of Durham University, who has been digging the Viking settlements there for the past 5 years. He showed us the current excavations on an eroded cliff face where a cist grave has been recovered and where possible Pictish buildings are now emerging.

To most students of archaeology, Orkney means Skara Brae, but what more can be written about this most famous of Neolithic villages? Now protected against the sea and the sand storms which both buried and protected it, it stands there after 4000 years with fitted furniture intact – its stone dressers, hearths, beds, cupboards and water tanks.

It is possible only to list some of the other sights seen: the Standing Stones of Stenness and the spectacular Ring of Brodgar with its great stones dark against the sky; “Cobbie Roos” castle and the l2th c. chapel on the small island of Wyre; the Italian Chapel on Lamb Holm (built ingeniously from odds and ends, by Italian POWs); St. Peter’s Kirk on South Ronaldsay; the Earl’s Bu and Round Church, Orphir; the impressive cliff walk at Yescanaby. And, for the botanically minded, there was the successful search for the rare primula scotica and the oyster plant.

Our most grateful thanks are due to the many people we met in Orkney who made, our stay so enjoyable: to Messrs. John Hedges and Chris Morris for their explanation of sites; to Mr. Bryce Wilson, who opened the Tankerness House Museum to us; to Mr. J. Halcro-Johnston for showing us the cist at Orphir House; to Mr. and Mrs. Stevenson for re-opening the souterraine on their land; to Mr. & Mrs. Bichan for allowing us to visit the Broch of Breakna and providing tea for the whole party, also to Miss Mardi Bichan for making the Swanbistcr pottery from which we drank it; to Mr. J. Troup, who talked to us on Orkney’s Norse heritage and escorted us on a tour of Stromness; to Mr and Mrs. Robinson, who were our guides in Kirkwall, and Mrs. Sue Flint, who led the long march on Rousay; to Miss E. Bullard of the Orkney Field Club, who told us about Orkney plants in history. And there was our coach driver, Bert, whom we led into many a tight corner, but who remained helpful and cheerful throughout.

As ever, tribute must be paid to the staff work of Dorothy Newbury, before and during the expedition. Unflappable and sympathetic, she solves our problems and discreetly organises order out of anarchy. To Daphne and Ian Lorimer our thanks are due for planning and super- vising all our activities in the islands. The disruption to their lives must have been considerable. The gracious manner in which they entertained our large party (still in mandatory “stout walking boots”) to lunch in their charming house at Orphir made it a very Special occasion. Daphne briefed us in an advance talk on some of the sights we were to see and acted as courier throughout the week. Ian introduced us to the natural history of Orkney and provided a back-up transport service. To both of them, our many, many thanks.
Page 8

At our special “Farewell to Orkney Dinner” at Tormiston’Mill, the talk was all about “Where shall we go next year?” Where, indeed? Our Orkney trip will be hard to follow.

– The following have recently been added to the HADAS Bookbox ,(references are to the categories and numbers on the Hon. Librarian’s master list):
Anthrop 4 Ramapithecus (rep from Scientific American May 1977 Elwyn L. Simmons
5 Archaeology of Early man. J.M. Coles & E.S. Higgs
Arch. Foreign F31 Swans Hellenic Cruises handbook 1976
F32 ditto 1964
F33 ditto 1974 (presented by Daphne Lorimer)
Arch. Gen. 23 Archaeology, Science & Romance (1966} H E L Mel1ersh
24 A History of the Vikings Gwyn Jones
25 Excavation Records. Occ. Paper No. 1. Directorate of Ancient
Monuments and Historic Buildings
Arch. GB 201 The Green Roads of England R Hippisley Cox (not Roman)
Brit. Hist. 70 The Icknield Way (1916) Edward Thomas (presented by Rhona Wells)
74 Medieval England: 1066-1600 AD Colin Platt (anonymous donation)
Loc. Hist. 191 Pamphlet on the operating Theatre of
Old St. Thomas’s Hospital, Southwark (presented by Rhona Wells)
192 London- the Northern Reaches (1951) Robt. Colville (presented by Paddy Musgrove)
193 Time on Our Side? Survey of the
archaeological needs of Greater-London (GLC, DoE, Museum cf’London , 1977)
194 Middlesex, revised 1952, pub. Middx. CC, (presented by Harry Lawrence)
Rom. Brit. 182 Britain- Rome’s Most Northerly Province (1969) G M Durant
183 Britannia (revised ed. 1978) Shepherd Frere (anonymous donation)
Misc. 155 Industrial Archaeology Guide ed. W Cossons & 1969-70 K Hudson
156 Historic Architecture of Northumberland and
Newcastle upon Tyne (1977) (anonymous donation)
Unnumbered Longthorpe Tower (Lincs) 6th imp. 1976 DoE (presented by Christine Arnott)
World Archaeology, vol. 9 ~To 3 Feb. 1978 (anonymous donation)

Our Librarian, George Ingram, wishes warmly to thank those who have donated books; members who wish to borrow books should ring him.


By | Volume 2 : 1975 - 1979 | No Comments


Page 1


By Daphne Lorimer June brought the roses out in Golders Hill park, the band out onto the bandstand on Sundays and seventeen students out to submit themselves to the rigours of the second HADAS training dig. Only one day’s rain marred the 12 days’ training and then, thanks to the kindness of two members who lent their homes, processing was done and was much enjoyed.

A comprehensive training scheme had been planned, both for the trenches and the processing hut. Students practised various excavation techniques, including the meticulous trowelling which is necessary at West Heath; the plotting in of every find, using 3 co-ordinates, in trench-books and on charts; the recognition and handling of burnt material and possible post-holes; and sieving. They learnt to draw a section and to wash, mark and record each find, with precise measurements, in the site finds book. They heard a talk on environmental aspects of West Heath; visited the site of last year’s bog-dig; and watched a demonstration of how to use a flotation unit.

Desmond Collins, our conscientious Director, who was on the site every day and most of the day, ensured that no student left without a. really sound grounding in Mesolithic typology. In addition to general lectures on the subject, he took any particularly interesting pieces found the previous day around the trenches each morning and explained their niceties to every individual student.

BBC Schools Radio taped a programme on the site, which included interviews with the students; and Tony Legge, Extramural Tutor in Archaeology to London University, paid a ceremonial visit .The training dig finished with a flourish and a most successful party at which the Director presented training certificates.

The period was marked by the discovery of the first axe-sharpening flake on the site – first evidence that axes were in use here – and of three small geometric microliths from the new trenches. These are highly significant and thought-provoking finds – as was the discovery, in the humus, of one piece of possible Neolithic pottery. Possible postholes are now appearing in the lower layers of trenches started in 1977 and their relationship to the area of the hearth has now to be studied.

The hearth has been duly excavated and all the spoil passed through a soil flotation unit, kindly loaned by the University Extra-mural Department (details of these proceedings will be given by the operators in a subsequent Newsletter). Thermoluminescence and magnetometric samples are in the process of evaluation; 30 grammes of charcoal have been extracted, cleaned and are ready for despatch to Cambridge for c14 dating.

TAIL PIECE: the sights of West Heath are pretty varied, both inside our digging compound and among the human and animal life which eddies outside. Some can even be a bit raw, as when we had to watch, helpless while a tiny duckling was battered to death by a whooper swan; or when we found a favourite visitor to the site – a very small rabbit -~ crushed between the stored “flats” of our hut.
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Last week came a sight to end all sights. A woman proudly wheeled a toddler’s push-chair along Sandy Road. On the seat, his tail swirled regally about his feet, his push-button nose in the air and-looking for all the world like a minute but lordly lion, sat a Pekinese!

An earnest plea goes forth, once more, for the services of all diggers, as we wish to uncover the maximum possible area of this important and rewarding part of the West Heath site before the end of the season. Digging will take place every Wednesday, Saturday and Sunday from now until the end of September except for July 7-17 (when HADAS is in Orkney) and for those Saturdays when there is a Society outing.

HADAS sets forth for Orkney on the evening of July 7, and Dorothy Newbury has already ensured that everyone possesses the fullest possible information about the trip.

Just a final word of warning, however: London Transport are about to operate reduced service on the Edgware branch of the Northern Line, owing to the need to remove blue asbestos from the tunnel between Hampstead and Golders Green. Please remember this if you are relying on getting to Euston by Underground, and allow extra time for the slow service. Dorothy suggests that, if you would prefer to go by a minicab, you should ring her and find out if there is anyone else coming from near you who might like to share.

A further instalment from JOANNA CORDEN, the Borough Archivist, on sources of information for local Historians.

III Local History Library, Egerton Gardens: Pt. 4, Archives (cont)

The second category of deposited archives (we dealt with the first category last month) are mainly private deposits and a few records which the Library has bought. Most of them are family and estate records, usually of small estates over a limited period. This is because (particularly in Hendon, where the demesne land was sold off by the Herberts in 1756) there was no one great landowner for any part of the present borough. There were instead a large number of small landowners, and the deposited records reflect this.

For two areas there are no deposited records: Barnet and Totteridge. Both fell within the Herts boundaries until 1965, so researchers are advised to consult the Hertfordshire County Record Office, County Hall, Hertford.

Estate Records in this area invariably consist of deeds. They vary greatly in the importance of the estate; the period covered and the number of documents deposited. The Grove, in the Burroughs, Hendon, is represented by 32 large complex deeds covering 1717-1898; Frith Manor and Partingdale Farm by a large number of deeds from 1796-1901; Tenterden Hall (Hendon Place) by a similar collection for 1726-1892; Hendon House, Brent Street, by 8 deeds for 1749-1785; and Goldbeaters Mead by only one deed of 1434. The Goodyers Estate, Hendon, is traced by a mixture of records in the Kemp family estate book for 1696-1834; and Old Fold Manor, Hadley, and Finchley Manor, East End Road, by Thomas Allens account book, 1774-79. On the whole the areas for which we have deeds are patchy: Hendon has most, then Friern Barnet (north of Woodhouse Road), Finchley and Edgware.
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SCHOOL RECORDS. Some schools have deposited records. The deeds of Christs College, Finchley, 1849-1895, are here, together with material (among the papers of John Boggon) relating to speech days, etc from 1928-35. There are also the Governors Minute Books, 1902-11. The earliest school records relate to Hendon Charity Schools – details of founding and of bequests, also Minutes and Accounts 1708-1913. Finchley County School Governors Minutes, 1909-19, are here, but the only log books deposited are those of Long Lane School, Finchley, 1884-1938; together with the admissions register 1898-1921. Otherwise log books are found at the schools themselves. More information on education can be found in School Board Minutes (Finchley 1881-1903, Hendon 1898-1903) and in subsequent Education Committee Minutes.

FIRE SERVICE. There are some interesting papers concerning the early Hendon Volunteer Fire Brigade; the Fire Engine Subscription Book for 1860-66 and 1873, a letter (1868) concerning the purchase of a field glass, and two later plans for the Fire Station in 1916 and for alterations in 1940. There are even some papers concerning a poll on whether Edgware required a fire engine in 1923.

SOCIETIES’_RECORDS. Various societies have deposited records. The now defunct Golders Green Parliament, modelled on the House of Commons, was dedicated to increasing political awareness from 1946-50. The Hendon Debating Society, addressed by William Morris in 1889, also had an educational aim, and kept meticulous records of its meetings and accounts, 1879-1919. The Hendon Young Mens Friendly Society (1893-1897), the Middlesex Freehold Land Association (1853), the Mill Hill Thirty Club (1913-1954) and the Woodside Club (1886-1952) all testify to a lively local social life; as do the minutes of the various sports clubs such as the Finchley Sports Federation, 1935-53, Hendon Cricket Club, 1852-92, Hendon Football Club, 1896-7, and various plans for playing fields and swimming pools, 1921-35.

DEMOGRAPHIC RECORDS. Records relating to population are most important. Census records for all areas of the present borough exist on microfilm for 1841, 1851, 1861 and 1871; Hendon is fortunate also in having the original enumerators records for 1801, 1811 and 1821. Electoral Registers begin in 1901 for Hendon, but only 1965 for other areas of the borough. Rate books are also helpful: these were discussed in Newsletter 88. Copies of Land Tax Assessments exist for the areas formerly in Hertfordshire, although with gaps: Chipping Barnet 1753-l845, East Barnet 1753-1825 and Totteridge l715-l830. Transcripts of the Finchley Land Tax for 1781-2 were made by local antiquarian C 0 Banks, as well as the Hearth Tax for 1672 and 1675 for Finchley and Friern Barnet, and 1675 for Little Stanmore (which is outside the borough). There are two miscellaneous items under this heading: one is a publication by the Hendon Union Rural District on the causes of, and ages at, death during the year 1900; the other is the Return of the Owners of Land in 1873 for Middlesex and Hertfordshire.

PARISH REGISTERS. This is not an officially recognised Church of England diocecan repository, and cannot therefore accept parish registers; copies, however, of such registers are kept where possible. A micro-film is held of the registers of St. Mary’s Church, Hendon: baptisms 1653-1812, marriages 1654-1781, burials 1653-1838. Other transcripts are printed. The Phillimore Parish register series, edited by Thomas Gurney, contains transcripts of Finchley marriages 1560-1837, South Mimms 1558-1837 and Monden Hadley 1619-1837. Appendix III in A History of Totteridge, by S G Barratt, contains transcripts of baptisms 1570-1812, marriages 1570-1718, 1724-53, burials 1570-1719, 1723-1812; and The Herts Genealogist and Antiquary, vol. II, includes transcripts of the Chipping Barnet registers -baptisms, marriages and burials -for 1569, 1581, 1592, 1598, 1599, 1629, 1687, 1688, 1689.
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Churches other than those of the Anglican communion can deposit their records, including registers, here; the Church End, Finchley, Congregational Church have in fact deposited their earlier records (1906-72), as have the North Finchley Congregational Church (1865-1968).

DIARIES AND PERSONAL PAPERS. The Library has occasionally bought items of local interest. One of these was the collection of several diaries, memoirs and sketch books of the Salvin family. Anthony Salvin (1799-1881) was a distinguished architect who specialised in restoration work and an authority on medieval military architecture. He is of local interest in that he designed several local buildings, one of them Holy Trinity Church, East Finchley; and he came to live in the area in 1833, at Elmhurst in East Finchley, where the family stayed until the 1860s. Most of the diaries and memoirs, and perhaps some of the sketches, are the work of Anthony’s daughter, Elizabeth Ann, who gives what is perhaps a unique view of Finchley and its inhabitants during the thirty years the family spent there.

These are by no means the only diaries and personal papers – both the Baker family of Finchley and the Penn family of Hendon have also deposited their family records – but the Salvin diaries are the most extensive.

In April we outlined (in Newsletter 86) digging plans for this summer, and mentioned that in August we proposed to open some trial trenches behind the Town Hall at Hendon, on the perimeter of the car park which lies between the Town Hall and the public gardens of The Grove. It is now hoped to start this dig in the late Bank Holiday weekend – that is, August 26-28. This is just to give advance warning of the dates, so that you can put them in your diary if you are interested. Further information will follow in the August Newsletter.

Two field-work projects are also about to start – the recording of the churchyards of Hendon St. Marys and St. James, Friern Barnet.

Indeed, work will have already begun at Hendon by the time you read this. Recording will be done on Sunday afternoons, starting at 2.30, and members who would like to help are asked to get in touch first with Jeremy Clynes.

At St. James the Great, Ann Trewick plans to start recording inscriptions towards the end of July, and would be glad of helpers. After an initial meeting, she hopes that researchers will work in their own time, whenever they have a spare hour or two. If you are interested, please ring Ann and tell her.
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Showing the Flag for HADAS

Summer is exhibition time, particularly for small, one-day displays. We have a crop of them in the next few months.

We began with a stall at Hendon St. Mary’s Junior School fete in Prothero Gardens on June 24, where we showed some of the finds from Paddy Musgrove’s Rectory Close dig at Finchley, as well as a photographic exhibit about the interesting people buried in Hendon St. Mary’s churchyard – Philip Rundell, the wealthy 19th c. jeweller; Henry Joynes, who helped to build Blenheim for the first Duke of Marlborough; Abraham Raimbach, the Victorian engraver, Nathaniel Hone, the 19th c. painter, and many others. (In case new members wonder at our already having an exhibit on this churchyard, when we have just announced the start of recording there, the answer is that we have been intermittently at work at Hendon St. Mary’s since November, 1970, and have just re-started.

Other events in which HADAS will be taking part this summer are Woodhouse School fete (July 1); Hampstead Garden Suburb Institute Week (a bookstall, and a display on July 5); and an exhibit at the dedication of the new parish room at St. James, Friern Barnet, on July 30.

At most of these events (except St. James’s, where Ann Trewick will be in charge) our displays will be put up by HADAS’s most recently formed sub-committee, Press and Publicity. We are very grateful to its members (June Porges is chairman, while Dave King, Vincent Foster and Audrey and John Hooson help her) for all the work they are putting in – not only on mounting and manning displays, but also sending reports to the local press, arranging poster display etc.

Incidentally, the committee has sent this note about FRIERN BARNET SUMMER SHOW, Fri. and Sat. Aug. 18/19:

HADAS will have a stall in the exhibition tent at this local show, which has been held for many years in Friary Park. We plan to mount an exhibit of our recent work and also to sell books and our own Occasional Papers; If you would like to help on the stall for an hour or so, please ring Audrey Hooson. The stall will be open from 2-8 pm both days, and no previous experience or deep archaeological knowledge is needed.”

At the very moment this page “went to press” there came news of a windfall for West Heath, in the form of a small grant.

The Mrs. Smith Trust has sent us £100 towards – in their own delightful phraseology -“general funds for excavation endeavours.”

Daphne Lorimer had applied to the Trustees, at the suggestion of one of our members, for a grant for the specific purpose of publishing the West Heath report. Publication nowadays, as everyone knows, is an expensive business, and it is a great help to know that we have an unexpected £l00 in the kitty towards it.

HADAS is deeply grateful to the Mrs. Smith Trust; and also to Daphne Lorimer who, in addition to the mass of other work she puts in for West Heath, also finds time to make highly successful endeavours to raise funds for it.

A report by Isobel McPherson.

After an interesting mini-mystery tour of NW London we headed off into Hertfordshire through the uncertain sunshine of June 24. Everything, not least the weather, exceeded expectation: the quickly changing light gave some dramatic views from the motte at Berkhamsted; and our friends of the Berkhamsted and District Archaeological Society surprised us with the range and quality of their finds, especially the pottery and toilet articles of Roman date.
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Mid-afternoon brought us to Picotts End where Mr. A C Lindley opened our eyes to the rich detail of the Medieval wall paintings. What did we expect to see, those of us on our first visit? Nothing so rich in colour nor so vigorous in design: that was clear from the first response as we entered the tiny building. Without Mr. Lindley’s careful, patient commentary, pointing out detail and symbolism tucked away in leaf and branch forms, we should have missed much of the significance.

After tea at Marlowes Pavilion (where we were joined, much to the pleasure of HADAS members of long standing, by Mrs. Ida Worby, one of our original founder members, who has now retired to live in Bedfordshire) we just had time for a quick look at St. Mary’s Church with its lovely Norman west door, nave and rib-vaulted chancel. Ted Sammes deserves our thanks for a splendid tour; and special praise for his imperturbable way with timetable alterations and background noises

Some notes on a name with Mill Hill connections.

On James Crow’s 1754 Plan of the Mannor and Parish of Hendon a long, winding lane is shown running north westerly though on different stretches it goes sometimes due north, sometimes due west from Page Street through to Upper Hale. It is clearly marked as Bunn’s Lane and in its vicinity are fields with names like Bunn’s Mead and Bunn’s Hill.

In the same year as Crow surveyed Hendon for Lord Powis, then lord of the manor, John Rocque produced his topographical maps of the county of Middlesex. He, too, shows Page Street. It has a settlement of 10 houses large enough to be individually marked. They lie around the junction of Page Street with an unnamed north westerly winding lane which connects at its western end with Upper Hale. About half way along the lane Rocque marks a building which he calls “Bone Farm.” At the same point Crow marks a small unnamed group of buildings.

Over 150 years later a Kelly’s Directory map still shows Bunns Lane taking a meandering course, starting from Page Street at the point where until quite recently Copthall stood. Indeed. Copthall must have been one of Rocque’s group of houses, for it was built in 1637 for Randall Nicoll, a member of the Hendon family which had held that piece of land since at least the 14th c. (The Story of Hendon, Norman Brett James, p.42 and 57). Today Copthall Gardens recall the Nicoll home and aptly mark just what they say they do – the garden area to the west of where the old house stood.

Before it connects with Hale Lane, however, Bunn’s Lane, even in the early 1900s, had to negotiate the GNR line from Mill Hill East to Edgware and the Midland line coming out from Cricklewood. Bunn’s Farm is still marked on the Kelly map, just where the Lane goes under the Midland line.

The 1962 OS 25 in. map illustrates even more clearly how little place is left now in urban England for meandering lanes. Bunn’s Lane leaves Page Street almost oppos1te Copthall County School; first it goes under Watford Way; then, after meeting Flower Lane (another old Hendon road) it goes over one railway line, under another and then over the first one again, before its chequered path finally ends when it connects with Hale Lane, just short of a fourth railway bridge.
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Where do all these Bunns – the lane, the farm, the fields – originate? The Place-names of Middlesex (pub. CUP 1942) gives a clue. On p.60 various local piace-names – Bunn’s, Childs, Driver’s, Gibbs, Goldbeater’s, Goodhews, Holder’s, Langton, Page, Ravensfield and Renter’s – are lumped .together as being associated with early families living; in the area. A Simon Bunde is cited as living in Hendon in 1434 (the PNoM reference is Surveys of the Manor of Hendon, Trans.LMAS, NS, 6,7).

Although Simon may have given his name to the land which later became Bunn’s Farm – estimated in 1667 as being about 78 acres -the documents concerning the land which still exist in LBB Archives and other record offices do not mention the Bunn family, though they refer to the property as Bunns. There are in fact deeds from 1515 (“land and tenements called Bungsfield”) and on to 1602, 1614, 1632, 1639 and 1667. They mention tenants called Addams, Marsh, Crane and Raymond, but not a Bunn of Bunn’s Farm.

Recently information about Bunn’s farm came to light from an unexpected quarter. Deirdre Le Faye, one of our colleagues in the Camden History Society, kindly sent some extracts taken from a book called Ramblin’ Jack – the Journal of Captain John Cremer, 1700-1774 (edited by his descendent, R. Reynell Bellamy, and pub. Jonathan Cape, 1936).

These memoirs were written when Capt. Jack was 68; in fact they concern only his youth. He was born in 1700 and his Journal effectively ends in 172l.

Jack was fostered by an aunt in Plymouth from the age of 2-8, when he was returned smartly to his widowed mother as unmanageable. His step-uncle, Lieut. Franklin (Mrs Cremer’s mother had married twice and produced a second family) then took him in hand. Franklin sent the boy to sea, where he was to spend the rest of his life, mainly in the merchant service. Many of his early adventures are concerned with avoiding the Royal Navy press gang.

Franklin had three sisters, Jack’s step-aunts, with whom the boy spent his leaves. There was Mrs. Brooking, “a terbelent woman in temper,” who lived first in Hendon and later in Hoxton, and had a husband who was a merchant captain -“she played the devill at home, and’ a deverting afabill woman abroad: ‘ beloved out of doors, but a devill in.” Then there was Mrs. Stanton, of Limehouse, whose husband was “an Eminent Brewer, one Stanton & Rainer in partnership: they being grand people, I made no thought of them, nor they of me, its being in a low Station of Life, till I afterward rose in the world.”

The third aunt was Mrs. Bunn. She was married to a wealthy farmer in Hendon, “a cuntry village near Hamsted, 7 or 8 miles from London. We don’t immediately learn where in Hendon Mrs. Bunn lived, but we do learn that “she was always for the pertender and my Unkle for King George.” It was at Hendon that Jack laid low, “obliged to tarry in the cuntry some time, the Pres being very hot.”

His Uncle was undoubtedly Jack’s favourite, for he notes “I brought home my Unkle a Chest of Florance wines, some flasks of floranoc Oyle, a Barrell of Anchovis, Some pelonie pudings and other presents of small things, which was received as great Exknolegements to my Unkle, but I brought nothing to my Aunts.”

One of Jack’s captains, Captain Saunders -“my poor Cap” who dyed at Smirna” – left Jack goods which “I really believe was worth Tenn Pounds.” These included instruments and charts, a great Ape and “a Spannill dog called Lisbon.”

The day after Jack had cleared his legacy in Doctors Commons he set off for Hendon. “I put up all my pressents given me by Capn Saunders, and went early in the morning with my Ape, and bought a good Chaine and girdell, and carried him on my Shoulders. Till I got the Length of Pcnkeridge (Pancras) Church, Clear of all Mobs, and then made the Ape walk before me to Hamsted and my dog.
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But at Hamsted I could hardly get him along, the people crouding about him Soe, and giving him Somthing to eat. And Some gave him to drink, that he was as drunk as an Ape; and Soe I had much troubell to get him to Bun’s farme, wheair my Unkle Lived at Hendon, a mile beyond the parrish church. But eyerey day my farmer Unkle had farmors and theair Children to See the ‘Morockoe Gentelman,’ Wifes not Excepted, and Sarvants. Soe he was plentifully fed.” Jack stayed three days at Hendon, and then moved on. The ape was left behind, “lodged in the country at my Unkle’s for some years.” After the nine days’ wonder of eating and drinking were over, how did the poor animal fare, and did he remain a wonder to l8th c. Hendon?

Jack is writing like this of his uncle’s house as “Bun’s farme at Hendon,” and placing it “a mile beyond the parrish church” only some 10 years after a manorial record in the local archives, a memorandum of surrender dated Feb. 26, 1707 (MS 2307/19 LBB Local History Collection), records the surrender by John and Hannah Raymond to their son Samuel and his promised wife Anna Skynner of “all that messuage or tenement called Buns situate in the said Mannor.”

Were there, then, two “Bunn’s farms” – the manorial one in Bunn’s Lane, which the Raymond family-held in 1707 and apparently intended to go on holding? And another, farmed by Farmer Bunn, which took his name, just as Church End Farm, until its demolition 10 or so years ago, was often known as “Hinge’s” after the family which owned it? Or did something happen shortly after 1707 which enabled Farmer Bunn to take over Bunn’s Farm? Perhaps further research will tell.

Arthur G. Clarke, in his Story of Goldbeaters and Watling (pub~1931) mentions some of the later history of Bunn’s as he knew it. In 1867, he says, Mr. James Marshall, “the successful Oxford Street draper,” bought the Bunn’s Farm Estate from 5 spinster daughters of Mr. Robert Randall, a Fleet Street wine merchant.

In the 1920s there were two brick cottages in Bunn’s Lane, next door to Messrs. Parvin and Co’s workshop, which were all that remained of the farm buildings. They had their back doors to Bunn’s Lane and their front doors facing the railway. This was because at the time the railway was being planned in the last century, Bunn’s Lane ran to what is now Mill Hill Broadway (then Lawrence Street) by way of the present Station Rd. (Rocque’s map bears out Mr. Clarke, as it shows Lawrence Street coming down to form a T-junction with Bunn’s Lane just before the latter runs into Upper Hale). Bunn’s Lane was diverted to its present route to make way for the two railways – but the cottages still faced the old roadline.

When the LCC bought Goldbeaters in 1924 (to form what is now the Watling Estate) it also bought the two old cottages of Bunn’s Farm and tried unsuccessfully to sell them. Finally in May 1931, just before Mr. Clarke’s booklet was published, “the roofs were stripped.”

NOTE: another instalment about the Bunn family will appear in a later News1etter. Meantime, if any member has information about this interesting Hendon family, it will be gratefully received by Brigid Grafton Green.

About to be founded, at an inaugural meeting which will take place on Mon. July 17 at 8 pm at St. Andrew’s Parish Centre, Enfield Town, the North London branch of the Family History Society. HADAS members will be very welcome – and this branch intends to serve the London Borough of Barnet, as well as Enfield.


By | Volume 2 : 1975 - 1979 | No Comments


Page 1

One of the best bits of news last month was that HADAS had hit the jack-pot – to the tune of £100. Lloyds Bank – a good friend to archaeology all over the country, particularly in supporting excavations on the sites of their own branches at such places as York and Lincoln – announced at the beginning of 1978 the setting up of a Fund for Independent Archaeologists.

For the next five years they will offer £1000 each year in grants to amateur societies for the purchase of equipment. HADAS applied right away for a grant under the scheme, to go towards the cost of surveying equipment: a level, a tripod and a staff.

Early in May we heard we had been successful. Lloyds sent us a cheque for £lO0 with their blessing. Arrangements to buy a good second-hand level are already under way; and the Committee has decided to make up the cost (likely to be more than £lO0) from our own funds, to ensure getting good quality equipment.

We need hardly say that Lloyds is riding high in the estimation of our surveying group, which has been working during the winter (with borrowed equipment, of course) on various sites under the expert guidance of Barrie Martin.

The 17th AGM took place on May 15 at Central Library. Our longest-serving Vice-President ~ she was present at the inaugural meeting of the Society in April, 1961 – Councillor Mrs. Rosa Freedman took the Chair.

The Officers and Committee for 1978-9 are:
Chairman – Brian Jarman
Vice-Chairman – Edward Sammes
Hon. Secretary – Brigid Grafton Green
Hon. Treasurer – Jeremy Clynes


Christine Arnott, John Enderby, Peter Fauvel-Clinch, Irene Frauchiger, George Ingram, Elizabeth Holliday, Dave King, Daphne Lorimer, Dorothy Newbury, Nell Penny, June Porges, Freda Wilkinson, Eric Wookey.

Incidentally, the Society took the opportunity of congratulating our Chairman, Brian Jarman, on his election to the Council – of the London Borough of Barnet in the recent elections. It’s pleasant to have someone closely connected with HADAS near the centre of local affairs.
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…on Saturday, June 24, will explore the valleys of the Rivers Gade and Bulbourne, and will visit Berkhamsted Castle, Grims Dyke and the medieval wall paintings at Piccotts End. We also hope to see current excavations at Berkhamsted. Full details are enclosed with this Newsletter. If you would like to join us, please fill in the form as soon as possible and return it, with remittance, to Dorothy Newbury.

by Daphne Lorimer

The 1978 season began on May 6 and, despite poor weather, a good start was made on completing the excavation of last year’s unfinished trenches. One by one the Diploma and Certificate examination candidates returned from their ordeal by pen and took up their trowels again, so that by the end of the third weekend HADAS was digging with its accustomed verve and vigour.

The hearth was turned onto its right side and appeared in good condition. A start was made on its excavation and a goodly amount of charcoal was recovered for c14 dating and botanical examination. The spoil is to be put through a soil flotation machine, in an endeavour to recover carbonised seeds and small animal bones – our one chance to find organic remains from the site. Samples for magnetometric and thermoluminescence dating were taken on May 24 by an expert from the Oxford laboratory. At long last, therefore, it is hoped to obtain a positive dating for the site.

Thanks to the interest displayed by members of the public reports of other Mesolithic scatters in the area are coming in. All are being investigated and two have been verified. It is hoped to build up a picture of Mesolithic occupation in this part of the London region; members, too, are urged to keep constant watch for struck flakes. Please report these to Daphne Lorimer – with an OS grid reference, if possible.

It is hoped to excavate the major living area this season. This part of the site is rich in flints and there is always the possibility of finding another hearth. Do come and dig – every trowel counts!

Digging times: June 3-18 (inc) digging every day, 10 am-5 pm. The training dig will be in progress, but there will be trenches also for HADAS members who are not training. Thereafter, digging every Wed, Sat. and Sun. until the end of September, except when HADAS is in Orkney or enjoying a Saturday outing (see programme card for these dates).

Paddy Musgrove reports that the dig on the old rectory site of St. Mary-at-Finchley has now finished. Some interesting finds have emerged and when these have been studied a further report will be made.

Meanwhile, trenches which will soon be cut by the builders will be examined in the hope that they may help to explain some puzzling features that have been discovered.
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In the grounds of St. Josephs Convent, Hendon (at approx. TQ 22628919) there is a mysterious man made mound. No one knows precisely why or when it was first constructed. It has been there long enough for its edges to have become blurred and difficult to define. Indeed, at some seasons – particularly in the lushness of high summer – it merges so well into the background of the beautiful Convent garden that it is hardly noticeable, overgrown as it is with grass, wild flowers, shrubs and the occasional self-sown tree.

The earliest memories of the mound are supplied by Sister Eadmunda ,of the Congregation of the Poor Handmaids of Jesus Christ, who own St. Josephs and run the Catholic school there. The Order was founded in Germany 130 years ago. The sisters first came to Hendon in 1882, to Ravensfield House (which stood where the London Transport bus garage now stands in the Burroughs). A few years later they moved to Norden Court, a late Victorian house with large grounds near the then junction of Colindeep Lane and the Burroughs ; and in 1900 the present buildings – a convent, girls’ boarding school and chapel – were built. Norden Court still remains as a separate house in the grounds.

Sister Eadmunda’s memories go back to the time when she and her sister were young pupils at St. Josephs. “We were inquisitive, as little girls are,” she recalls, “and we explored that mound. It had an entrance on the north side near a big tree which has since been cut down. You went down some steps. We were often hungry – as small girls also usually are – and apples and carrots used to be stored in the chamber under the mound – so it must have been quite dry. There were two passages leading out of it. I can remember one of them clearly – it had a low barred iron gate across it, and you could see the passage leading away beyond the gate into darkness, in the direction of Hendon parish church. We always thought it was a secret passage to the Church; and we were told the other passage went to Brent Street.”

Today the chamber in the mound is no longer open, and all signs of its entrance have vanished. On top of the mound now is a small rendered brick structure, about 75 cm by 45 cm by 60 cm high, which could have been the plinth for a statue.

HADAS first heard of the St. Josephs mound last summer, when an officer from the Planning Department of the London Borough of Barnet and two officers from the Historic Buildings Division of the GLC went to inspect it, to see if it was of sufficient historic interest to be scheduled. HADAS was invited to send a representative to that meeting, and did so. In the discussion which took place it was suggested that the mound might be the remain1s of an 18th/19th c. icehouse, connected either with The Grove (a large house which used to stand a little north of St. Josephs, in the general direction taken by Sister Eadmunda’s “secret passage”) or with Norden Court.

Several HADAS members have been at school at St. Josephs; one of them, Mary O’Connell, has sent, us this account of the mound as she remembers it about 1940:

“It was topped by a wooden summerhouse. Against the side. of the mound stood the Grotto – a rockery, built up to form a high niche which held a statue of the Virgin. Behind the grotto’ a small path led to a low, arched doorway. As I recall, there were three flagstone-type steps down into a circular chamber about 3 1/2 to 4 metres in diameter. The dome could have been about 2 m. high, with brickwork smoothly vaulted like some latter-day Treasury of Atreus.
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This was always referred to as the priest’s hole and it was generally accepted that there had once been access to a tunnel said to lead to St. Mary’s parish church. Indeed, it was rumoured that a second tunnel existed which ran to-wards Brent Street. We searched, without success, for traces of the blocked entrance, and childish fantasies were sparked off by the discovery of the odd bone among the leaves and debris on the earthen floor (no doubt where a dog, or perhaps a fox, had enjoyed a stolen meal).

Mr. Tom Mahon, who has been in charge of the farm and grounds of the Convent since 1934, was told by an elderly nun that the cellar had been an underground cold store for food-stuffs, and that she remembered a local butcher having been allowed to rent, it for storage purposes. Mr. Mahon vividly recalls diving into it for shelter from falling shrapnel several times during the last war.

The underground chamber was completely dry till the end of the 1930s, which indicates some sort of drainage system (a well can still be seen near the path) .Then it began periodically to be flooded, and was deemed unsafe. Over a period Mr. Mahon filled it up with all kinds of household and garden rubbish. As time went by, the elms and a cedar which grew on the mound became diseased and were felled; and the summerhouse collapsed. About four years ago the grotto was dismantled and the area was smoothed over and grassed. Mr. Mahon reckons the roof of the cellar is only a few inches beneath the present ground surface.”

During the past winter the Society’s surveying group has, with kind permission from the Convent, been doing a practical exercise on the mound. We have measured it for a plan, which is being drawn by Barrie Martin; and have also done some levelling, So that the elevations can be plotted. This will provide a record, at least, of the mound as it now exists. There has been one big difficulty – the “smoothing over” to which Mrs. 0′ Connell refers has meant the obliteration of the precise outlines of the original mound.

Whatever the origin of the mound, it is clear that there are a number of possibilities to be explored. For instance, a member of the Borough Planning Department has suggested an interesting theory: that it might have been part of a kiln, built to fire bricks made from local clay for building either Hendon Grove or Norden Court, and that the “secret passage” was a shaft to a chimney stack. There is a long, narrow pond in St. Josephs Grounds, some 30-40 metres west of the mound. Could this, he suggests, have originally been the clay-pit from which the brick-earth came?

Brick kiln? Priest’s secret passage to a pre-Reformation church? Ice-house? At the moment we don’t know, though we hope further research may produce more facts – meantime, the HADAS surveying group refers to it, tongue-in-cheek, as “our 19th c. round barrow.”
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By George Ingram.

Fifty-three members enjoyed an excellent repeat trip to Grimes Graves on May 20 (see Newsletter 78, August 1977, for the account of our first trip). Again Mr. Lord, the custodian at Grimes Graves, fascinated us with his expert knapping of a Neolithic-type hand axe; and it was interesting to see once more the West Stow reconstructed medieval village.

Our tour of Bury St. Edmunds (with two guides kindly provided by the Bury Past and Present Society) was slightly longer than last year and took in the still magnificent Abbey ruins, where we learnt that the movement to bring King John to book at Runnymede in 1214 began at Bury. A Victorian inscription, listing the names of the barons (including the Lord Mayor of London) and whether any of their descendants still exist (Lord Saye and Sele seems to be the main contender for this honour) graces a ruined core of one of the great pillars that supported the tower of the Abbey church; and there are some stirring lines by a Victorian poetess on what Magna Carta means to England.

Tea at Bury ended a full day, well organised and planned; our thanks for it go to Brigid Grafton Green and Nell Penny.

As this Newsletter went to press John Enderby, Principal of Hampstead Garden Suburb Institute and a founder-member of HADAS, sent us these advance details of classes for next winter.

There will, as usual, be courses in the first two years of the London University Diploma in Archaeology. On Wednesdays, ‘starting Sept. 20, Desmond Collins will take the first year course, on the Archaeology of Palaeolithic and Mesolithic Man; on Thursdays, starting Sept. 21, David Price Williams will take the second year, on the Archaeology of Western Asia. Both courses of 24 lectures and 2 visits cost £8 each, and classes are from 7.30-9.30 pm.

Miss M. Skalla will take a course (originally sugsested by HADAS) of 20 lectures and 2 visits on the Archaeology of the Dark Ages on Tuesdays, starting Oct. 10, from 8-9.30, fee £8. On Wednesdays, starting Sept. 20, there will be a course of 12 lectures, 1 visit, on Hampstead Garden Suburb and its place in the Garden City Movement. The lecturer is Mervyn Miller, planning officer at Letchworth. Fee £4., time 7.30-9.30 pm.

One bonus of signing on for a course at the HGS Institute is that you avoid the trauma of a single enrolment day and possibly waiting in a long queue. Mr. Enderby and his staff will take enrolments any time from mid-June onwards.

By George Ingram

“The Inky Way …” is the heading to a cartoon drawn by Peter Jackson, printed in The Evening News of August 7, 1950.

The drawing shows a pathway leading to the front door of No.3 Church Cottages, The Ridgeway, Mill Hill, composed of several hundreds of upturned inkpots, said to have been collected from nearby Mill Hill School and laid down “some 75 years ago.” These saltglaze stoneware pots were set in close formation to give an even and durable path. Most of the bases measure 7 cm in diameter, but a few are 5 and 6 cm.
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Peter Jackson was born at Brighton in 1922. In 1949 he sent a few historical drawings, with descriptions, to the Evening News. They led to the birth of a series of cartoons on the theme “London is Stranger than Fiction.” The sketches became a popular feature of the paper and in 1951 a selection was reprinted in book form, with a further book in 1953 under the title “Peter Jackson, London Explorer” (it sold at 2s.6d a copy)

The inkpots are a link with one of the well-known Victorian personalities of out area – “Inky” Stephens, who lived at Avenue House, East End Road, Finchley. Henry Charles Stephens was a member of the well-known firm which made “Stephens Ink” – hence his nick-name. He was the son of Dr. Henry Stephens, who invented a kind of ink fluid – originally, it is said, for his own use and that of his friends. He put it on sale and the business flourished. “Stephens Ink” was widely advertised in its heyday. Enamel signs showed the name and two enormous eye-catching ink-blots, superimposed on each other.

Inky Stephens, who inherited the Stephens fortune, died in 1918; and in his will he left Avenue House to the Finchley Urban District Council to administer, as a legacy for the good of the people of Finchley. When the Borough of Barnet came into-being in 1965, Avenue House was part of its inheritance; and, as our Chairman reported at the AGM, HADAS has just acquired a tiny part of that inheritance – a small room of its own in Avenue House, on lease from the Borough, where we shall be able to keep at least our books and some of our records.

Site report by Myfanwy Stewart. When planning consent is given in an area of known archaeological interest HADAS watches the site with particular care. Last July we learnt that houses were to be built at the end of Grantham Close, Pipers Green Lane, Edgware (TQ 181934 app). This site is just off Brockley Hill – the most important Roman site in our Borough.

Two Victorian houses, Newlands Lodge and Newlands Cottage, were to be demolished and replaced by two new houses. One of the new dwellings was built over the concrete platform which had formed the foundation of one of the old houses, so few trenches were dug. However, foundation trenches were opened for the second house, and these were eagerly watched by Helen O’Brien, Sheila Woodward and myself.

Unfortunately on many sites topsoil is removed before building begins, so there is only a slim chance of even surface finds. This site was no exception; not one piece of Victorian pottery was found on the surface there, let alone anything more interesting. Foundation and drainage trenches, opened to a depth of about 1 metre, showed no features of any kind. What was unusual was a complete lack of strata, even geological. From top to bottom the section showed only one layer: dense, waxy, almost pebble-free yellow clay.
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Nevertheless one interesting point has emerged. A sample of the clay was taken. This turned out to be of interest to an archaeologist working at the Museum of London, who has already thin-sectioned some of the Brockley Hill pottery. He wishes to explore possible sources of the clay used by the Roman potters. If any member notices open trenches – either service trenches or for road works or building – near the Brockley Hill area I would be glad to hear of them, in order to take more clay samples.

JOANNA.CORDEN, Archivist to the Borough of Barnet, provides further details of the sources available to local historians.

III Local History Library, Egerton Gns: Pt.3, Archives;

Archives deposited in the Local History Library are in two categories: first, official records or the present council and its: administrative predecessors (Urban District Council, Borough, Local Board, parish and manor); second, the deposited records of persons and institutions of various kinds. This month I shall deal with the official administrative records.

MINUTES, ACCOUNTS. These consist mainly of Minutes and accounts. There is an almost complete run; the exception is Hendon, where the minutes begin in 1924. Earlier Minutes for the Urban District Council and the Local Board are available from the Town Hall, however, given some prior notice.

PARISH REGISTERS are either kept by the parish churches themselves (e.g. St. Marys, East Barnet; St. Andrews, Totteridge); or they have been deposited with the ‘appropriate Record Offices (e.g. St. Marys, Hendon, and St. Marys, Finchley, with the GLC).

PARISH RECORDS, other than registers, can also be retained by the churches, e.g. St Marys, East Barnet; or can be deposited, e.g. St. James the Great, Friern Barnet ~ with Greater London Record Office, Middlesex, Queen Annes Gate, SWl} or St. Johns, Chipping Barnet (with Herts. County Record Office, Hertford).

The parish records of Hendon and Finchley, and some Edgware records, are deposited in the Local History Library. They consist of:

Edgware: Overseers of the Poor, 1822-23; 1919-23

Finchley: only a few have survived. The old Finchley Vestry used to meet in the Queens Head. This then stood next to the Church, where Church End Library is today. The Vestry kept most of its records there; unfortunately in 1836 a fire destroyed the inn and with it the records. However, enough survived to give some idea of Finchley parish history from the 18th c, including:

9 vestry books. (1768-1874). These cover various aspects of village life and include details of churchwardens and over-seers accounts -fortunately, as the churchwardens and overseers records themselves have not survived.

2 poor rate books and 2 examination books, the latter having a number of loose removal orders and other papers. The rate books generally, beginning 1836. There are so many that they have been microfilmed, and the film is available at the Local History Library. The originals can be consulted in the basement of South Friern Barnet Library.
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Hendon parish records are more complete. Vestry books begin 1706 and go on to 1913, although the later period is limited to church matters, since the civil functions of the parish were taken over by other administrative bodies at the end of the 19th c. The churchwardens accounts are the earliest for this area, covering 1656-1893. The Overseers of the Poor have a complete and full set of records (1703-1835), as do the Surveyors of Highways (1703-1861). Rate books for Hendon are on microfilm from 1837, and again can be consulted at the Local History Library, although the originals were deposited with the GLC many years ago.

The parish of MonkenHadley is in an awkward position as regards records. Most of them, including Vestry books (1672-1833), Overseers Accounts (1678-1835) and Surveyors of Highways Accounts’ (1846, 1851; 1854, 1873-4) have been deposited at Barnet Museum, Wood Street, Barnet .These have been microfilmed, the film being available at the Local History Library. The rest have been deposited at the GL Record Office (Middx) and can be seen there; no microfilm exists of these.

Rate Books exist for the following areas:

Barnet Vale (1898-1926)

East Barnet (1876-1931)

Edgware (1863-1870)

Finchley (1836-1961)

Friern Barnet (1935-1961)

Hendon (1747-1835; on microfilm after 1837)

Monken Hadley (1780-1852on microfilm only)

All these rate books are kept in the basement of South Friern Barnet Library.

MANORIAL RECORDS for Hendon consist mainly of drafts of manorial court rolls for the 18th/early 19th c. The court rolls themselves (1688-1934) are available at GL Record Office (Middx); the farm accounts of the manor (1347-9, 1354-55) are at Westminster Abbey.

SURVEYS: a 1690 copy of a 1574 survey of the Manor of Hendon, and other surveys dated 1632, 1635 and 1687, in addition to the more commonly used Surveys by Messeder, Cooke and Jago in the 18th c. and Whishaw in the 19th c, are in the Local History Library.

Other official administrative records held are:

Hendon Charity Schools 1787-1857

Daniels Almshouses, 1832-1877

Electoral registers, Finchley U.D (1908); Finchley Borough (1938-9, 1950), Hendon UDC and Borough (1901-65) and of course for all areas of the Borough since 1965.

School Board Minutes, Finchley ( 1881-1903) ; FUDC Education Committees. 1903-1949)

Medica1 Officer of Health East Barnet (1891-1964); Finchley (1928- 1964); Friern Barnet (1954-60); Hendon (1912; 1964)

Finally, Civil Defence records, including war damage maps and casualty registers from the second world war for both Hendon & Finchley.

An interesting residential weekend on the interpretation of air photos will be held from Sept 29-0ct 1 next at Wicken House, Wicken Bonhunt, Newport, Essex. Fee £16. Details from the Treasurer, Cttee for Archaeological Air Photography, 15 Colin McLean Road, East Dereham, Norfolk.


By | Volume 2 : 1975 - 1979 | No Comments


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PADDY MUSGROVE describes the current HADAS excavation. Trial trenching on the site of the old rectory of St. Marys-at-Finchley in Hendon Lane, foreshadowed in last month’s Newsletter has been precipitated by news that the builders’ advance party is liable to arrive any day now. Since Easter Monday therefore a small party of diggers has been active on Saturdays, Sundays and Wednesdays.

Three trenches were opened (at OS grid ref. app. TQ 24899053) and work still continues on two of them. The areas examined show considerable soil disturbance due to landscaping over the years, the recent building of a modern rectory and the building and demolition of at least two large earlier rectories. A trench on the north side of the site, for example, reveals a layer of rich black loam beneath 50 cms. of dirty dumped clay, but even this is not the original field surface, as it lies on top of yet more dumped material, which is still to be bottomed. At the east of the site, adjacent to the churchyard, three distinct layers of topsoil, all containing much scattered Victorian domestic debris, have been built up into a bank.

Sherds of medieval and later pottery continue to be found at all levels in these variously disturbed soils, and are being studied. Two small struck flakes have been found. No structural or other features have yet emerged.

Digging will continue until the builders appear. Volunteers will be welcome, specially on Wednesdays. If you can help, please first phone Paddy Musgrove.
HADAS Helps out at Highgate

The Society took part in another rescue-type dig for two weekends in April, on a site behind 64a Highgate High Street. This is in the territory of the Hornsey Historical Society, who asked HADAS to help with the final stages of a dig that had uncovered a Victorian soda-water making vat and various associated features.

Although we had only 36 hours’ notice of the first weekend, a dozen or so HADAS members rallied round and lent a hand to Tony McKenna, of the Museum of London, who was in charge of the dig. A section was cleared down to natural, and some of our diggers are still helping with a trench which Mr. McKenna is opening on an adjacent site.
West Heath Season about to Begin

Don’t forget! Digging starts at West Heath on Sat. May 6. It is hoped that as many members as possible will be there to open the season.

To re-cap for those who missed previous announcements: digging will continue full-time for two weeks and will then revert, with certain exceptions, to Wednesdays and weekends until the end of September. The exceptions are: no digging on HADAS outing days nor from July 8-16 inclusive, when we shall be enjoying the bracing breezes and invigorating sights of the Orkneys.
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The first two weeks of June (5-18 inclusive) will be devoted to HADAS’s second training dig, but it is hoped that all members who wish will come along as well. Trenches will be kept for them and there will be room for everyone.

This season gives every indication of being an exciting one, and it is hoped that the maximum area will be uncovered. We shall continue to investigate the increasingly rich area on which we started last year. A new project – the analysis of the phosphate content of the $oil – will be undertaken by Dr. Gordon (a HADAS member whose wife, Helen, is one of the stalwarts of West Heath). Phosphate analysis is a new technique which aims at analysing the uses to which different areas of the site have been put. A midden or rubbish tip, for example, will have a high phosphate content, a flint chipping floor a low one. Phosphate has the valuable property of being insoluble in water; in most soil conditions it will remain fixed in the position in which it was deposited. Thus modern phosphate does not percolate to prehistoric levels.

This kind of analysis has only recently been made possible (previous methods were too complicated) by the use of techniques described in the American journal “Science” (vol 197, No.4311, Sept. 30, 1977) in an article by Robert C. Eidt, “Detection and Examination of Anthrosols by Phosphate,Analysis.” It should be an exciting and valuable venture. Science, however, is no substitute for good old digging – so come along to West Heath and make it our best year yet.
West Heath on Show

The Library authorities of the London Borough of Camden have kindly offered HADAS the use of their excellent exhibition space at Swiss Cottage Library (behind the Swiss Cottage Odeon) for an exhibition during May, which will correspond very appropriately with the re-opening of the West Heath dig.

We hope to show panels of Peter Clinch’s fine photographs on the various stages of the West Heath excavation, including the lifting of the possible Mesolithic hearth last autumn; and to display in glass cases the full range of excavated flint tools, blades and cores; exhibits on our work on burnt flint, postholes and botanical remains; and maps and books showing early prints of the area.

The exhibit will be open from May 3-31, Mon-Fri. 9.30-8.00, Sat. 9.30-5.00. We hope many HADAS members may find time to visit it.
BBC Chronical Awards for Independent Archaeology

The finals of this competition (in which HADAS took part last year) will be held at the Museum of London on May 13, 1978, starting at 2 pm. Tickets are obtainable (no charge, but please enclose s.a.e) from R. J. Kiln, Rescue, 15a Bull Plain, Hertford. As space is limited, early application is advised.

Exhibits by local societies and other bodies will be mounted in the temporary exhibition hall of the Museum; HADAS hopes to stage a small display.
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Aids to Research

JOANNA CORDEN, Archivist to the Borough of Barnet, continues her series on the archives which are available to local historians III~_Local History Library. Egerton Gns: Pt.2 MAPS: These the most frequently used part of the local history material. Until the later 1800s they still show fields and wide open spaces, but after that the sudden rush of building is well illustrated and a source of constant study, both by college students and by local people who want to know why a road is so called or on whose land their road was built.

The current edition of 50 in, 25 in. and 6 in. OS maps covers the whole of the borough. The 25 in. OS series at Egerton Gardens begins in 1864 and the 6 in. in 1873 but there are some gaps. Tithe maps exist for all areas in the borough in the 1840s; there are Enclosure maps and awards for only two parishes -Chipping Barnet (which includes East Barnet) and Finchley. Before that there are several manor and parish maps going back to 1754, and estate maps for individual properties at various dates. There is also a large collection of Middlesex and some Hertfordshire maps, from the 16th-19th century.

PRINTS: The Collection contains several thousand illustrations of varying types and value. The postcards have recently been housed separately, and are divided into areas (e.g. Mill Hill, Hendon, Finchley, etc). The rest are kept simply in order of accession, which can lead to delays in producing them. There are a very few 18th c. prints; but the main body of the collection consists of 19th/20th c. paintings, drawings and photographs. Although the 19th c. pictures are charming and can be helpful in reconstructing old buildings which have now disappeared, the later illustrations are of equal historic value. They-show, for instance, the changes in the early years of this century, and in the 1930s, which occurred after the coming of the tube. There is a sad lack of modern photographs at present, but attempts are being made to remedy the situation.

EPHEMERA: This section is sometimes unexpectedly useful to students. It contains the odd pieces of material which do not fit into any other category, and are classified according to Dewey. It includes posters:, advertisements, leaflets produced for special events, menus of civic dinners- and other similar items. On the whole, their value is as illustrations of an event or argument; and they can be very effective in exhibition work.

There is also a small collection of news cuttings and copies of the Hendon Times back to 1891; at present these are unindexed, and so are really useful only if the student has a clear idea of the date of an event which he wishes to research. To index a newspaper over 80 years is no mean task, but a start has been made. It will be all the more worthwhile because the Hendon Times itself, although it keeps files, does not have an index.

This is the title of the latest exhibition at Church Farm House Museum, Hendon. It is a selection from the many objects which are contained in the Local History Collection of the London Borough of Barnet.
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Mon. May 15. Annual General Meeting at Central Library, The Burroughs, NW4. Coffee at 8 pm, business meeting – at which the Chair will be taken by Vice-Fresident Mrs. Rosa Freedman – at 8.30. The evening will end with a slide show (with commentary) on the latest developments at West Heath and on the Society’s Bristol weekend last September. Do come along to see our old year out and our new year in.

The exhibits are mainly Victoriana; many of the objects have connections with the Museum or with Hendon and its district. Some of them provide an insight into a way of life and a standard of values very different from our own. There are antique typewriters and sewing machines, watercolours of old Hendon, and many small items such as a case for carrying visiting cards. The exhibition remains open till May 21.

Mon. May 15. Annual General Meeting at Central Library, The Burroughs, NW4. Coffee at 8 pm, business meeting – at which the Chair will be taken by Vice-Fresident Mrs. Rosa Freedman – at 8.30. The evening will end with a slide show (with commentary) on the latest developments at West Heath and on the Society’s Bristol weekend last September. Do come along to see our old year out and our new year in.

This season’s outings will be: §at. May 15. Grimes.Graves (a Neolithic flint-mine>, West Stow country park {a Saxon village, excavated and reconstructed) and a conducted tour around Bury St. Edmunds, which has a wealth of history. This will be a near-repetition of last year’s Grimes Graves trip, which was so heavily overbooked that we promised to run a similar outing this year. Application form enclosed – please complete and return. Sat. Jupe ,24. Berkhamsted, Gade and Bulbourne valleys

July 8-15. HADAS visits the Orkneys

Sat. Aug. 12. Framlingham, Saxted Mill and Heveningham

Sat. Sept. l6. An outing to the Cotswolds

Please note that the Cotswold outing (fuller details of which will be published later) replaces the trip, mentioned in the March Newsletter, to Danebury and Salisbury. This is because Danebury is now being back-filled, and the material we had hoped to see at Salisbury (the Pitt-Rivers Collection) cannot be made available.
Journey through a Roman Landscape

A report on HADAS’s first outings of 1978.

Unexpectedly, HADAS had two outings in April. The trip to Dover on April 15 proved so popular that we decided to repeat it the following Saturday. As a result nearly a hundred members have explored the Roman remains of the south eastern tip of Britain, at Regulbium (Reculver), Rutupiae (Richborough) and Dubris (Dover).

Our way out of London was through Industrial Archaeology country. After negotiating the Blackwall Tunnel we passed through a totally working landscape, with buildings of strange shapes made for curious and diverse functions. We passed transformers like great coiled springs, with whippity wires sprouting from them; elegantly waisted cooling towers; a row of long-necked cranes which pointed to the river line; the vertical outlines of tall chimneys, some round, some square; sturdy cylindrical vats for petro-chemicals; gasometors, all lacey-edged; the witches’ cauldrons of a cement works; and lost and left behind among them, the forgotten, blackened, broken remains of a Victorian church.
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Reculver provided a chance to see the oldest of the Saxon Shore forts, built early in the 3rd c. AD and used through that century; and then again in the 4th for the job of protecting the coast from marauding Saxon pirates. By the 7th c. Reculver was a Christian centre under Egbert of Kent (though nowadays the local pub, catering for the denizens of a caravan park which stretches as far as eye can see, is dedicated not to him, but to Ethelbert). Footings of some of the Saxon minster walls remain, but more outstanding are the l2th c. twin towers which were added to the minster and now still stand at their full height facing the encroaching sea. Only half the walls of the Roman fort remain; the sea has devoured the rest.

Our next stop was Richborough, after a drive through the flatness of treeless Thanet, with its windmills and water and the hedges just starting to strengthen in the thin sun; and its sudden and strange contrasts of ancient and ultra-modern, like the reconstructed timber Viking ship standing alongside a hovercraft marina. On the way we came through Sandwich – a delicious town of narrow streets and ancient houses; delicious, that is, to everyone except the driver of a 53-seater coach. We came within a whisker of hitting a typical tile-hung Kentish house-wall which must have had other encounters, judging by the angles of and spaces between its skittered tiles.

Richborough is a lesson in wall-building from masters of that craft. Again, it is the walls of the Saxon Shore fort which remain, although on this site the story of Roman occupation goes back much further, and is laid out for all to see in ditches, house footings and other evidence. The invading legions of Aulus Plautus landed here in 43 AD; after the initial success of the invasion, it became a major supply depot; and when finally the conquest was considered complete, in about 85 AD, a splendid monument to commemorate the event was erected. In the second half of the 3rd c. an earth fort was constructed, probably because the Saxon raiders were becoming more adventurous; and soon after the earthen fortifications gave way to the great walls of the Saxon Shore fort.

All these events can still be traced upon the ground today; the early ditches dug at the time of the original landings; the footings of the granaries and other buildings of the supply depot; the foundation of the monument; footings of a civilian settlement of the 2nd c; the triple ditches of the earthen fort; and finally, the late 3rd c walls, of which about two-thirds remain. A lot of the surface is gone, either from erosion or robbing, but this serves to show how well laid and mortared the interior rubble is. Much of the mortar is characteristic pink opus signinum, with crushed pot or tile in it.

Finally we came to Dover, to the newly opened museum which houses and protects the Painted House. The painted walls do not now look so bright as they did when we saw them a few years ago, just after excavation. One of our excellent guides explained that salt is still coming out, and must be allowed to finish oozing before preservation techniques can be applied. In the final outcome it is hoped that the colours – and the perspective of the columns which form part of the paintings – will be as bright and clear as when first exposed.

At Dover, too, we had a conducted tour of the current Kent Archaeological Rescue Unit excavations, seeing part of the early Classis Britannica fort, a corner of the Dover Saxon Shore fort, the outlines of 3 Saxon round huts, with gulleys between; and a lay priory which our guide said “we like to think was as big as Canterbury.” In one Saxon hut alone 1896 separate stake-holes have been identified, plotted and measured – shades of West Heath, where we count ourselves rich with some 50 possible stake/post holes!
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So ended the first outing: well planned, well executed and full of the kind of good staff work which is the hallmark of HADAS trips. This time we must be doubly grateful to Jeremy Clynes and Dorothy Newbury, because they went through the whole exercise not once, but twice.
Field Walking at Edgware

SHEILA WOODWARD reports on this aspect of the Society’ activities

The friendly relationship which HADAS normally maintains with those in authority does not appear to extend to the Clerk of the Weather. It was yet again cold, windy and wet when 27 members braved the rigours of a January morning to undertake the first field walk of the year. The dimensions of Longe Broadfielde (as a 16th c. map describes the field we were walking, at OS grid.ref. TQ 194942 app} seemed to justify the name as the line of walkers toiled through its muddy furrows. With each step a larger portion of furrow adhered to boot, and the resultant increase in foot-weight produced an odd sensation of distorted balance (perhaps the reverse of an astronauts weightlessness?) Despite such impediments, the walk was completed and, as far as is known, no member was lost en route.

The walking of the same field was continued, in slightly less inclement conditions, in February, and the two walks yielded a vast and miscellaneous collection of metal, pottery and flint – but no significant concentrations. The metal fragments all appear fairly recent, including a very corroded coin, probably a farthing. Sufficient horseshoes were found to ensure the Society’s good fortune for several years. Potsherds of various periods range from (possibly) Roman to (certainly) modern. The large quantity of tile seems to be of no great antiquity. A considerable number of clay pipe fragments, half an 18th c. wig-curler and a cache of a dozen oyster shells bear witness to past pleasures and vanities. Taking us much further back in time, a most interesting find was a small conical flint core of Mesolithic type, not unlike some of the cores found at West Heath. Several struck flint flakes were also found.

Much of the material recovered on a field walk results from the old practice of spreading household refuse on the fields as a form of fertiliser. Bury Farm had a rather sophisticated method of transporting the refuse to the fields. A small tramway ran from the farm diagonally across several of the adjoining fields, including Longe Broadfielde, and one of the present farm-hands can remember loading farmyard refuse and manure into trucks which wore then hauled along the tramway and emptied onto the fields. The practice ceased only in the 1930s, when modern methods of refuse disposal, and of fertilisation, were introduced.
Welcome to New Members

…who have joined HADAS since December 1977: Eric Arnott, Garden Suburb; Mrs. Babalis, N22:; D J Bicknell, Finchley; Veronica Burrell, N19; Christine Chatterton, Mill Hill; Dorothy Cumberland, Leigh-on-Sea; Mr & Mrs Dewdney, Garden Suburb; G Ferris, Finchley; Mrs. Finklestone, Elstree; Geoffrey Gammon, Surbiton; Nigel Gore; Hendon; Mrs. M T Hall, Colindale; Carol Halligan, SW1; Alan Hill, Garden Suburb; Miss Hutton, East Finchley; Ruth Ikin, Garden Suburb; Miss Johnson, W3; Robert Kruszynski, SW7; Suzanne Martin, Hampstead; Mrs. Matthews, Mill Hill; Isobel McPherson, Finchley; A C Moss, Hendon; Yoda Papachristou, Highgate; A Pares, Hadley; Mr & Mrs Pentecost, N Finchley; Marion ~crryman, Mill Hill; Mts. Pestell, Golders Green; Nichola Ppothnick, Edgware; Mrs. Pozner, Golders Green; Frances Radford, W Hampstead; M K Rees, Golders Green; Royal Comm. on Historical Monuments (Eng) ; Andrew Scheer, Garden Suburb; Mrs. Solomons, Finchley; Herbert Stern, Wembley; Mrs. Watkins, Garden Suburb; Ann Watson, Cobham; Desmond Whiter, Harrow; Angus Wilson, Hampstead. We hope they will all enjoy their membership and get pleasure from our various activities.
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Farm Buildings Survey

Many thanks to all the members who have sent me information about farms in LBB. I had no idea that the word “farm”‘ was going to be such a talisman. It seems to have stirred about half the Society into action. One member alone sent me a list of farms covering two typewritten A4 pages! Two of the local newspapers reprinted last month’s Newsletter item, which brought in a spate of material from non-members, too.

But although I now have details of all kinds of unexpected things – two farm wells left behind when a farm was demolished near one-time Dole Street, a farm inscription on a building in North Finchley, an electricity sub-station plate with the name of a vanished farm in Mill Hill, an invitation to see a possible wattle-and-daub drovers cottage – what I have not yet got is enough offers of help from members prepared to deal with all this fascinating information by doing actual field work and documentary research. A little work which I have done myself, for instance, en Census material from 1801, 1811, 1821 and 1841 shows clearly that there is a mass of information to be wrung from that sort of documentary source.

While thanking most warmly the half-dozen members who have told me they will “cover” two or three farms apiece, may I please invite any other member prepared to help – in any capacity – in what is going to be a really interesting and wide ranging project to let me know? Brigid Grafton Green.

The Dancing Ladies of Merton Station

A report on the April lecture by ELIZABETH HOLLIDAY. Scott McCrackcen, who delivered the final lecture of the HADAS winter season, is Field Officer of the South West London Archaeological Unit, and as such is responsible for the entire SW London area from Croydon to Richmond. He began his talk by outlining the difficulties which face a team of three members, with a very limited budget, trying to cover so much ground.

The Unit was established in 1974, primarily to survey and assemble current knowledge of the area. This is done by vetting planning applications to identify threatened areas and, when the team is able to identify likely areas of interest or importance, by recommending excavation before re-development. Preliminary documentary research is often undertaken by membors of amateur societies within the area. Hampered by lack of definite evidence for early settlement, most recommendations for excavation are based on educated guesswork.

Mr. McCracken reviewed two recent projects undertaken at Battersea and Merton.

Development by the GLC at Battersea enabled the Unit to investigate a gravel area close to the river which was thought to be the possible (and logical) location of a Saxon settlement.

A trial trench was cut by machine through a Victorian cobbled yard and a deep ditch containing 13th c. pottery was revealed. This is thought to be the Manor Estate boundary. The site was then opened up for a two-season dig, working 7 days a week.
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The 18th c. Manor kitchen garden was found; and below that, beam slots containing 9th c. pottery, including imported French ware and Saxon sherds, two of them decorated. Infra-red film was used in an attempt to locate features in the river alluvium but no signs of a structure were revealed. The pottery was dated 650-850 AD; the only non-pottery find was a decorated bone comb-case.

The excavation of Merton Priory posed different but equally difficult problems.

The Priory was founded by the Austin Friars in 1121; after the Dissolution, the building was robbed in 1538 to provide material for Henry Vill’s palace of Nonsuch. This important site disappeared until the 1920s, when work by the local water board cut through the foundations of walls. The site, adjacent to a rail track and platforms, was partially excavated by a local antiquarian, Colonel Bidder, and his gardener – who even worked between the rail lines – and between trains! The Chapter House and south transept were traced, but as the Colonel used the rail lines and ties as a reference in his records and plans, the removal of the rails in 1973 meant all reference points were lost.

The excavation exposed a deep slot containing post holes which were identified as a mid-18th c. calico-bleaching trench. The apse wall of the Priory and buttresses were found and floor levels identified, with a scattering of 12th c. pottery.

British Rail cleared the station platforms and enabled excavation over a larger area to begin in May 1977. An odd circular structure in the NW corner of the Chapter House has been tentatively identified as a drying area used by local farmers – for the whole area lies below the level of the nearby River Wandle. This is the main post-Priory structure: the site appears to have lain fallow between 1538 and the 1750s.

The Priory is known to have had poor foundations – records of a neighbouring religious house mention that the tower blew down in the 1220s – and the recent excavations have revealed massive buttresses, many of which were not tied into the walls. Stone and evidence of wooden coffins have been discovered, although it appears that all the graves were robbed at the Dissolution.

The Infirmary Passage revealed 15 floor levels. Roman flue tiles and Samian ware were recovered (Stane Street crossed the site of the West door of the Priory). Painted glass, lead, 12th c. pottery have been excavated from the Chapter House area. Many of the tiles are decorate with figures, and two of them, when place side by side, appear to show women in 14th c. costume holding hands and dancing.

Many questions about Merton Priory remain to be answered and the unexpected appearance of dancing girls in a monastery has yet to be explained. Fortunately re-development of the site has been halted for the time being, so we may hope to hear further news from Merton.

In Temple Fortune, Golders Green, there is an old-fashioned wine merchants recently taken over by Unwins, and modernisation is being considered and may be imminent. We desperately need someone to record the interesting features and, (not necessarily the same person) photograph it. The need is urgent before this small bit of local history is lost – volunteers please to Bill Firth. While on the subject, details of other old shops worth recording would be very helpful – again, contact Bill with any in